Neopopulism exerts pressure on traditional media through its routinized attacks and manipulations. At the same time, a number of populist movements have mobilized and weaponized social media platforms in ways that outmaneuver traditional state regulatory controls. Yet these social media platforms are themselves arguably inextricable from the neoliberal imperative of individual self-promotion.
What drives these assaults on media outlets traditionally understood as guarantors of an informed citizenry and public sphere? Are these attacks related to the neoliberal commodification of society itself through digital modalities?
How are social media paradoxically connected to the decimation/resuscitation of democracy – from tweet storms to flash mobs?
How can social media produce real-time democratic mobilizations, yet also unleash ideological hacking, impersonation and sabotage?