Social media and the public sphere – virtual coffee shops or siloization?

Jakob Linaa Jensen visits DECIDIS:          Jakob_Linaa_Jensen

The event takes place MAY 28 2015 from 13-15 in room 2A08

All are welcome but please send an email to

 About the presentation:

The potentials for involvement, enlightenment and horisontal dialogue have increased. Further, Facebook has turned into a ”one stop public” mixing mundane updates with serious political debates. But, Facebook is a filtered public, where news are sorted based on the likes and shares of acquaintances. Such filters reduce complexities but also add to the risk of the creation of segregated public spheres for the ”like-minded”, with limited political and societal impact.

Based on examples from the Arab spring, European election campaigns and Danish political Facebook groups, I demonstrate that although citizens might feel emotionally involved and politically empowered by discussing politics via social network sites, the wider political consequences are limited. The debates only to a limited extent affect overall political decision-making and the mobilization is often short-lived. Social media seem best suited for mobilization around single issues or facilitation of online protests rather than creating lasting involvement and democratic commitment.

About Jakob Linaa Jensen:

Jakob Linaa Jensen, Ph.D. is head of research for social media, Danish School of Media and Journalism. Before that, he was an associate professor of media studies at Aarhus University for nine years. His research interests includes social media and political participation, online behavior and identity, news and social media and theoretical aspects of the relationship between individuals and society. He has published four books, two international anthologies and more than 30 peer-reviewed articles on his various research topics.

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