The power of social media for political activism and mobilization has been well established and celebrated. Dr. Michael A. Xenos will speak about social media’s potential effects by drawing on recent projects focused on public engagement with a number of controversial issues and elections in the US.
Ongoing research into other forms of political engagement has identified a number of more difficult and troubling questions about social media’s potential effects, particularly with respect to levels of political knowledge, patterns of information search, and opinion formation. For example, how much information can we expect individuals to learn by spending time on social media platforms now commonly associated with an increasingly hyperpolarized public sphere, “fake news,” political misinformation, and marked declines in civility within political discourse? How do these aspects of contemporary social media affect the processes by which ordinary citizens learn about controversial issues and form opinions on them? Finally, how can we foster healthy processes of political engagement despite the challenges posed by some of the less desirable features of contemporary social media?
In this Weizenbaum Lecture, Michael Xenos will speak on these questions, drawing on a number of recent projects focused on public engagement with a number of controversial issues and elections in the US.
Dr. Michael A. Xenos is a Professor of Communication Science, Department of Communication Arts University of Wisconsin-Madison
External participants please register at: veranstaltungen-weizenbaum[at]wzb.eu
Weizenbaum Institute Hardenbergstraße 32 10623 Berlin, Room A103 – A105
Thursday, 6. June 2019
19:45 - 21:15 Uhr
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