Democracy and Deliberation in the Age of Facebook
In 2016, we witnessed two shocking political decisions in stable democracies: the election of Donald Trump as American president and the United Kingdom’s referendum to exit the European Union membership. After the scandal of Cambridge Analytica mining Facebook data to influence the 2016 U.S. elections, a public conversation began to question the role of data use, surveillance practices, and especially of social media companies such as Facebook in shaping democracies. Siva Vaidhyanathan’s book, Antisocial Media. How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy (Oxford UP, 2018), paints the larger picture of the logics by which Facebook operates. It encourages readers to understand not only political outcomes such as Brexit and the U.S. elections, but also the erosion of democracy globally (from India to Poland and Hungary) as the result of media logics of audience fragmentation, narrowcasting, and discursive polarization.
The Journal holds the rights to the articles it publishes. RJCPR uses a CC BY-NC license for published articles.