Civic Hall & Digital Void Present: Political Influence(r)


October 22


01:00 pm - 02:30 pm

Click to Register:

Digital Void Salon Series

A discussion about how to analyze political communication on social media to defend against disinformation ahead of the 2016 election.

How can we interpret and discuss political communication on new media platforms? How are up-and-coming politicians utilizing Instagram to build and engage with audiences like influencers? What is the connection between digital media and populism?

Josh Chapdelaine will discuss recent historical examples of how accepted genre conventions of digitally mediated broadcasts can be used to create and replicate feelings of authenticity, look at how politicians use influencer tactics to create stronger parasocial relationships with audiences, demonstrate the potential for politicians to deceive, coerce, and manipulate audiences, and offer strategies to help stay vigilant in a rapidly-changing digital media environment in this special one-hour discussion about our rapidly evolving digital and political environment.

Instagram emerged as a prominent social media platform for political communication ahead of the 2018 election. The introduction of the platform’s ephemeral features, Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, created a new way for its users to communicate with audiences. In particular, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used Instagram Stories and Instagram Live to engage with audiences about her personal life, her experiences on the campaign trail, and myriad sociopolitical topics in a more intimate manner than social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter had previously allowed. Similarly, Beto O’Rourke and Senator Elizabeth Warren used Instagram’s ephemeral features to varying degrees of success. Public audience discussions about these performances soon began to question the authenticity of the politicians’ performances.

Here, we’ll discuss everything from Michael Bloomberg’s meme army to how to better defend against disinformation and misinformation in ahead of the 2016 election.