Digital propaganda or 'normal' political polarization? Case study of political debate on Polish Twitter, Panoptykon Foundation

We are right to be worried about the polarization of public debate, the rise of populism and digital propaganda. It also goes without saying that social media have a growing impact on our politics and society. However, one should be cautious not to confuse observations with explanations. Focusing on fake news, bots and algorithms it is easy to miss real agents behind the screens: humans. Not only those who create content and tech tools, but also average users. Can we, as individuals, control and influence the quality or diversity of information we receive online? Is it our responsibility to “consume responsibly”? Are we forced to live inside information bubbles or can we do something about it?

Seeking answers to those questions, Panoptykon Foundation invited researchers from the University of Pennsylvania – Dr Emad Khazraee and Pawel Popiel – to design a case study of political debate on Polish Twitter