Political Knowledge and the Web

Information is key for citizens to play their role in the democratic systems. Citizens need information to define their preferences and evaluate the activity of governments and parliaments.

Information is key for citizens to play their role in the democratic systems. Citizens need information to define their preferences and evaluate the activity of governments and parliaments. Importantly, they need information to cast informed votes. Building on these premises, a large body of literature has studies the impact of information on citizens. However current knowledge is based upon research that does not adequately capture the role of the Internet. Given the large impact of digital media, this represent a substantial gap. The widespread diffusion of information technologies has dramatically transformed the way citizens access consume and exchange information. We propose to explore the effects of online-based news consumption on political knowledge by means of innovative experimental methods. Notably, this study will highlight the dangers of misinformation intrinsically related to online environments and estimate their effects on the public.

Support

This project is funded by Wiener-Anspach Foundation.