This research group theoretically and empirically investigated the contents and processes of political communication in digital publics with respect to the spread of extremist views, rumours, and lies. The hybridity of media systems, the constellation of actors, and the dynamics of the discourses promote fleeting and fragmented thematic public spheres. An important question is which conditions and context factors influence the mechanisms and dynamics of “postfactual” news and defamation campaigns.
This research group conducted research at the Weizenbaum Institute from 2017 to 2022. In the newly launched research program, research will henceforth be organised in 16 research groups. These will be flanked and supported by the new Weizenbaum Digital Science Center.
Moreover, it can be observed that quality standards and truth claims in the public sphere of social networks and user-generated communication are shifting without any foreseeable consequences for the informational level and behaviour of citizens.
An important question is which conditions and context factors influence the mechanisms and dynamics of “postfactual” news and defamation campaigns. What are the differences between the rhetoric of right and left groups, populist and traditional parties in digital media and networks? How does user-driven communication differ from algorithm-based campaigns (e.g. opinion bots)?
Two questions were at the centre of attention:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Neuberger, Scientific Managing Director (FU), Principal Investigator
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Klinger, Research Group Lead
To the current research program