Where Does Fake News Leave Democracy?
‘Fake news’ and misinformation circulate widely on social media, and many suspect that this led to the rise of Trump, the Brexit vote, Russian support for the war in Ukraine, and so on. At the same time, we know that people don’t just automatically believe what they see and read. So how powerful is misinformation, and who is vulnerable to it? Those are the questions to be discussed in this Masterclass. The answers provide a more sophisticated understanding of the threat to democracy posed by fake news.
Rob Johns is Professor of Politics in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. He is an expert on public opinion and political psychology: why citizens believe what they believe about politics, and what can change their mind. Rob’s recent projects examine citizens’ reactions to fact checks, how the public balances security and civil liberties, and the impact of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety on political attitudes.