The New Populism and Fake News on the Internet: How Populism Along with Internet New Media is Transforming the Fourth Estate
STALS RESEARCH PAPER 4 (2018)
27 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 7, 2018
Since the 20th century, the press has been considered “the bible of democracy” and the “watchdog of democracy”: This role of the press requires respect for the truth. The aim of this paper is to understand how the populist movements have undermined that pillar of democracy through the use of fake news as a political weapon, and whether and how constitutional democracies can react to this phenomenon. In the first part, the paper will explore the phenomenon of the spread of fake news on the Internet and its connection with populist movements, analysing the Italian scenario and the American one. In the second part of the paper, the problem of the transformation of democratic theory in the field of public discourse and of the press as the watchdog of democracy will be analysed, looking at the means that have allowed the populist movements to lead this transformation. Some technological solutions and paths for the regulation of the new Internet media are suggested.
Keywords: Fake News; Populism; New Internet Media, Fourth Estate, Democratic theory, Freedom of Information, Freedom of expression, Social networks, Facebook, Search Engines, Google, Algorithms
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