The use of the internet and social media makes sharing messages even easier than ever. The ease of the information spreading also allows for many ideas and movements to become transnational. As we saw last week and the week before, because of the world’s connectedness, movements such as QAnon, which originate in America, gain popularity in non-English speaking countries such as Germany. In particular with the pandemic, we can see how easily misinformation can spread since anyone can post whatever they like and people tend to believe what they read on the internet. I suppose the pandemic is the perfect example of how the spread of misinformation is transnational because of the internet.
The way in which right wing groups and populism have used social media to their advantage is also a more recent phenomenon. Populism is often about the will of the people and being anti-elite, social media is the perfect breeding ground for populist movements to share their ideas. Social media is widely available to everyone and there are millions of everyday people on these sites. The everyday person tends to be the targeted audience in populism as they spread their ideas as being, “ideas of the people.” With how easily ideas can be spread, people on social media may feel that they relate to something a group is talking about and become interested in learning about their other ideas. Media and interconnectedness in the 21st century has provided right wing groups the perfect place to share their ideas.
Benjamin Krämer, “Populist online practices: the function of the Internet in right-wing populism” Information, Communication & Society, 20:9 (2017): 1293-1309
Özçetin B, “‘The show of the people’ against the cultural elites: Populism, media and popular culture in Turkey” European Journal of Cultural Studies. 22(5-6) (2019):942-957.