Counterpublics on Twitter: Analysis of the #PaseDeLista1al43 Protest about the Ayotzinapa Case


  • Rocío Galarza Molina Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León



This research focuses on a Twitter protest about the Ayotzinapa case (the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico in 2014) that for years has existed under the hashtag #PaseDeLista1al43. The main purpose is to assess if this protest can be understood as a counterpublic. Through thematic analyses of tweets and 15 semi-structured interviews, the study found the following: Protesters deconstruct power relations within the case and challenge the government’s version about the students; seek to disrupt mainstream narratives with their messages; and developed a collective identity that helped maintain the protest alive for years. These findings point to the possibility of Twitter to house a long-lasting public that challenges dominant political narratives. A public that came together with a hashtag can go beyond short connective actions on Twitter and develop a community to discuss and solidify opinions, and then get attention from other publics.


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