This research group theoretically and empirically investigates 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.
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 are at the centre of attention:
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