Local Misinformation, Small Town Populists, and Platform Politics

Monday, October 25th, 2021
Nikki Usher
4:00pm CDT

Zoom presentation

Event Description

Watch video here

As the full impact of diminished legacy news becomes increasingly clear, platforms like Facebook have become the home page, front page, and bulletin board for civic life in communities — essential communication infrastructure. However, big tech platforms aren’t concerned with democracy, just profit. While much is known about how platforms enable misinformation spreading and hyper-partisanship at a national and international scale, far less is known about what happens at the local level. Using research from the PPLN-IL project [Platforms, Politics, and Local News in Illinois], this talk explores the challenges to combatting misinformation about COVID-19 on a local level. Of particular concern is a growing phenomenon: opportunistic local politicians using social media to weaponized national political issues into career-boosting opportunities.

Nikki Usher

Associate Professor of Journalism