Social media and the disruption of democracy

Date of publication: September 8, 2019

Abstract:

Is democracy broken? And are Twitter and Facebook to blame? And how are their brands suffering as a consequence?

To elaborate on the insights from this initial piece of research, we decided to go further in this direction by exploring the links between social networks and democracy. Our research leverages declarative and passive data collected in the UK, France and Germany, to track both the impact of social media on democratic societies and to assess the impact of democratic disruptions on the reputation of social media platforms themselves. More precisely, in this era of fake news and general distrust towards institutions, how do people get informed, what do they trust and distrust when it comes to news, and what role does Facebook play in the news ecosystem? What are the different attitudes that can be detected here? What does it say about our Western democracies? In addition, what could be done to improve the situation?

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