Prof. Ralph Schroeder: "Digital media and the rise of right-wing populism"

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Since the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the news media around the world have given extensive coverage to the issue of fake news, foreign actors meddling in elections, and social media data being used to manipulate voters. Trump has also skilfully used Twitter to spread his populist message. In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats have used alternative websites to disseminate their right wing populist views. This talk will discuss how right-wing populists have been able to use digital media to circumvent traditional media, also looking at the cases of prime minister Modi in India and nationalists in China. There has been much discussion of media manipulation, but it is important to take populists seriously. Their beliefs have found powerful outlets with digital media, though how they use them is quite different in the four countries examined here. And apart from their digital media uses, what is their message, which is anti-elite and exclusionary in all four cases? Finally, how can right wing populists be counteracted, since media should be used for political expression, but media are also increasingly accused of distorting reality?


Ralph Schroeder är Professor of Social Science of the Internet vid Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University, och var tidigare Professor of Technology and Society vid Chalmers tekniska högskola i Göteborg. Han forskar för närvarande kring digitala medier och högerpopulism och är aktuell med boken "Social Theory after the Internet. Media, Technology and Globalization", (UCL Press, 2018), vilken ägnar ett kapitel om "The Sweden Democrats' alternative media". Mer information om Ralph Schroeder finns på Oxford Universitys webbsida.