5 December 2019

Social Media and the Populist Moment”

But we should be more doubtful of Cohen’s larger narrative, which is commonplace among progressives — a narrative that invokes the sewer” of social media to explain everything from climate-change skepticism to anti-immigration sentiment, portrays Russian trolls and YouTube stars as the crucial actors of the populist era, and proposes the regulation of online speech as the main restorative that the liberal order needs.

Instead, the evidence in the papers cited above hints at a different scenario — in which because educated liberalism is increasingly so very online itself, ensconced in its own self-reinforcing information bubble, liberals end up analyzing populism exclusively through their digital experience even when that analysis is obviously insufficient.

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