Compared to the importance we attribute today to disinformation our reliable knowledge of its effects is still surprisingly low. The few empirical studies on the impact of disinformation so far mainly refer to the USA and Western Europe. They arrive at largely consistent findings, which seem to contradict the public perception of disinformation. Above all, there is no hard evidence for the widespread assumption that fabricated facts may change our beliefs and (voting) behaviour. While discrepancies between empirical findings and public perception are not uncommon, they raise the question of an explanation. This talk will explore what it is exactly that make disinformation seem so dangerous across Asia, the US and Europe.
Jeanette Hofmann is a political scientist with a focus on digitalization, democracy and regulation. Jeanette is professor of ‘Internet Politics’ at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. She heads a research group on ‘Politics of Digitalisation’ at the Berlin Social Science Center; she is also co-director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and Principal Investigator of the research group on ‘Technology, Power and Domination’ at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society. Her current research interest centers on the question of how digital technologies contribute to the structural transformation of democracies.
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