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Social media, security and democracy in the digital age

Downing, Joseph (2023) Social media, security and democracy in the digital age. In: New Security Challenges. New Security Challenges. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 179-207.

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-031-20734-1_6


This chapter questions the relationship of critical security studies and security through the prism of democracy. It does this by examining two examples from the French presidential election of 2017 that demonstrate the complicated relationship between social media, democracy and security and the unexpected ways that these are constructed online. Both of these examples are also hashtag campaigns and thus bring the dimension of hashtags that enable users to index their posts and connect them to broader debates on social media. The first example #MacronLeaks seeks to push analysis of this classic “hack and leak” operation further than examining the contents of the leak but by examining the broader construction of the leak on social media. The coverage on Twitter is dominated by anti-Macron sentiment that delves into anti-semitic conspiracy theories, connecting Macron to terrorism and the “Islamisation” of France and refuting Russian involvement in the leak. This demonstrates that the critical discursive turn in the security studies enables us to go furthering in examining how the social media environment can construct democracies, and indeed direct threats to them, in connection with other key themes in contemporary security and politics, like conspiracy theories and terrorism.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2023 11:12
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 03:04

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