A stable democracy presupposes a well-functioning public sphere, which in turn is strongly linked to the provision of information by pluralistic mass media such as television, radio and press. Only in a polity in which information is freely accessible to the public can the latter make informed decisions and exercise democratic control. Media institutions perform a public role by putting information into context and providing a place for societal debates, thereby influencing the public discourse. Social media has transformed the way we communicate by changing communication from a ‘one-to-many’ structure to a ‘many-to-many’ structure in which essentially every citizen becomes able to distribute information to a wider audience on the internet. This paper discusses how social media impacts the public sphere and proposes regulatory solutions to ensure a pluralistic information landscape as a means of protecting democracy, with a particular focus on EU initiatives in this sense.
Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 6-9, 2021. It will be held in a completely novel way as a fully online Conference: ICON•S Mundo.
The Call for Papers for ICON•S Mundo is available here. Submissions for papers and panels must be made by May 1, 2021.
Log into your ICON•S account and apply for ICON•S Mundo by submitting your proposal.Apply for ICON•S Mundo