From optimism to pessimism to neither: The influence of social media on democratic citizenship
Between 2010 and 2020, conventional wisdom on social media has changed dramatically, from being celebrated as prodemocratic platforms to being held responsible for the rise of polarization, misinformation, and populism. Contrary to utopian and dystopian perspectives, I find that the effects of social platforms on individuals’ cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors are decidedly mixed. Using surveys, experiments, and content analyses conducted in Chile, I show the value of a more nuanced approach to social media and democratic citizenship.
Sebastian Valenzuela is an associate professor in the School of Communications at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and associate researcher with the Millennium Institute fo Foundational Research on Data (IMFD). An expert in political communication and digital media, he has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, including the 3rd edition of Setting the Agenda (Polity Press).
Thursday – January 21, 2021, 12.00 CT time / 15.00 in Chile