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Populism and Social Media

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Populist actors rely heavily on social media. Communication via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter makes it possible to address target groups directly, bypassing the classic mass media. The speaker has studied online political communication in Germany in detail since 2015. In his lecture, he explains how strongly events such as the New Year’s Eve in Cologne in 2015/16 or the Bundestag elections in 2017 influence the main topics of political parties as well as user reactions. Politicians as well as users most often link topics such as crime, Islam and migration with populist messages. The speaker describes populist communication in Germany and shows that it plays a major role in online political debates overall.

Dr. Sebastian Stier is a researcher in the Computational Social Science Department at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. The lecture will take place as part of the lecture series ‘Digital total – Politics on the Net’ at the Blue Square of the Ruhr University Bochum. The lecture series is organised in cooperation with the Department for University Communication of the Ruhr University Bochum.

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