Is the Internet Eroding Europe's Middle Ground? Public Opinion, Polarisation and New Technologies
February 2018 | Principal Authors: Tim Dixon, Míriam Juan-Torres
In many European countries, vigorous debates about national identity issues—including those concerning immigrants, refugees, cultural values, national traditions, and the control of borders—are increasingly prominent. Social media has played an important role in the elevation of these debates, and extreme right groups have become adept at using social media insert their narratives into the mainstream and reach target audiences who are most susceptible to their narratives. The extent to which democracies endure and societies remain cohesive will depend on European countries’ capacity to navigate widening social fractures, growing threats from extremist groups and deepening polarisation of attitudes around profound issues of identity and belonging.
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