Social media and polarization: European and North American perspectives
Political polarization is widely considered to be rising across Western democracies. Several scholars have argued that social media use increases polarization, since citizens can access information distributed by like-minded news sources. However, mounting empirical reveals that citizens are actually exposed to a diverse array of political opinions on social media, and the overall effect of being exposed to information online is small. The present symposium investigates this dilemma by asking two questions: Does social media use affect polarization? And how can we study political polarization in a transatlantic context?
The symposium invites world-renowned academics from both Europe and the United States to present their own perspectives and engage in dialogue with one another about the impact of social media on polarization.
9:45 – 9:50 Welcome
9:50 – 10:00 Award ceremony for the best thesis in European Studies at Lund University
Winner: Hannes Westermann for the Bachelor thesis Change of Purpose - The Effects of the Purpose Limitation Principle in the General Data Protection Regulation on Big Data Profiling
Pascal Jürgens (Johannes Gutenberg U, Mainz)
Unfair Algorithms? The Gordian Knot of Bias in Algorithmic Systems
11:00 - 11:20 Coffee break
11:20 - 12:05
Shelley Boulianne (MacEwan U)
Global to local: Social media's relationship with civic and political participation
12:05 - 13:15 Lunch
13:15 - 14:00
Lilliana Mason (U of Maryland)
Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.
14:05 - 14:50
Vaclav Stetka (Loughborough U)
Engaged, opened and (dis)informed: exploring social media use, polarization and trust in the Czech Republic
14:50 - 15:15 Coffee break
15:15 - 16:00
Anamaria Dutceac Segesten (Lund U) and Michael Bossetta (U of Copenhagen)
Echo-chambers, Polarization and Cross-Wall Political Conversations about Brexit on Facebook