Case Study #1:
Social Media and Brexit
Major political movements can be influenced by interest groups using social media. A recent example is “Brexit” in the United Kingdom (UK).
In June 2016, the government of the UK asked its citizens to vote on whether to stay in the or leave. The results of the were 54% of the British population voted in favour of leaving the EU. This has created controversy and uncertainty over the economic and social future of the United Kingdom. This decision will have an enormous impact on the lives of both British and European citizens, and the economies of their countries, for years to come. How did the citizens of the UK make their decision? Where did they get their information about it?
Watch the TED Talk by Carole Cadwalladr for insights into the impact social media made on the Brexit referendum (Source: Cadwalladr, 2019).
In this video, Carole Cadwalladr, a Welsh journalist, explains her investigation into why average British people voted “yes” to leaving the European Union. She discovered that Facebook was a huge influence on voters. This is where voters read anti-EU disinformation, purchased by right-wing interest groups. Cadwalladr explains that these interest groups, who posted lies and inaccuracies about the EU, are impossible to trace due to Facebook’s policies.
“Case Study #1: Social Media and Brexit” by Paula Anderton, Centennial College is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License.