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Social Media and Political Influence: A comparative case study of the influence of Social Media on political processes
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
2021 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 14 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The causal role of social media and disinformation campaigns in shaping contemporary political events within the International System is at the vanguard of a debate that caters to their influence. This thesis investigates the influence of social media as a tool used to spread disinformation to influence democratic processes such as elections and protests. This is done by integrating four case studies, ranging from general elections such as D. Trump's election campaign alongside democratic revolutionary attempts such as the Arab Spring. The variation of case studies also aims to include sham democracies to assess and contrast how different state actors navigate through consequential political manipulation done by social media. This paper uses constructivist theory to establish the importance of actors involved that shape the structure-agency debate, provide influence instead of the analysis, and use qualitative research methods alongside secondary data. The overall finding was that social media has the potential to manipulate, influence, misinform and polarise individuals as well as policy-makers. However, the influence of social media is readily overestimated. The results show that social media has essential and manipulative factors, but only individual ones in a complex context of effects.Wordcount:

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. , p. 55
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-50653OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-50653DiVA, id: diva2:1645181
Educational program
KS GPS International Relations
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Available from: 2022-03-18 Created: 2022-03-16 Last updated: 2022-03-18Bibliographically approved

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