THE IMPACT OF NEW MEDIA PARADIGMS ON DIGITAL ACTIVISM AND THE BATTLE OF #FAKENEWS

THE IMPACT OF NEW MEDIA PARADIGMS ON DIGITAL ACTIVISM AND THE BATTLE OF #FAKENEWS

Social media has been classified as something new for a long period of time. By now, however, it should not be considered ‘new’ but ‘normal’ as it is in the DNA of every digital native to use social media. This leads to a shift of traditional media paradigms which can be witness when it comes to digital activism which, once it reaches a mass following, often times gets labeled as ‘fake news’. This research will focus on determining how and if social media is used effectively in regards to not only raise awareness but create long lasting digital activism and how ‘fake news’ has become a problem that needs to be addressed and debunked.

The internet has radically transformed communication. More than ever before does successful communication depend on the ‘right’ utilization of digital media, powered by the world wide web. Disruptive technologies play an important part in said communication however only if those technologies are used to their full extent and if their medium specific features are being exploited as resourceful as possible. Is this the case, their impact on the way we communicate will be immense.

Such impact can be widely seen when it comes to digital activism and the way minorities communicate in an age where hashtag activism meets slacktivism. Digital media has become the go-to media to mobilize crowds and gain attention. With this in mind the term ‘fake news’ has been used quite frequently to dismiss digitally spread information that goes against one's beliefs. Therefore it is of utmost interest to understand how disruptive technologies influence the way activists and minorities communicate using digital media and how ‘fake news’ can be understood or debunked as such.

Presented at ICNT'19 in Bangkok, Thailand

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Sascha H. Funk

January 10, 2019
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