Social Media, Post-Truth Politics, and the Digital Transformation of Political Discourse

Digital transformation, a term borrowed from Business and Entrepreneurship, has permeated all aspects of interpersonal and institutional communication, including political discourse. Nowadays, political candidates and leaders of nations are increasingly resorting to online and social media platforms to communicate with their electorate and with wider national and international audiences. Moreover, socially mediated political messages and scandalous statements provide a constant feed of news headlines for both traditional (legacy) media and online news media. How is political communication being transformed as a result of these technological affordances? What is the relationship between digital communication technologies, ‘post-truth’ politics and the rise of radical populism? Drawing upon international research findings, this paper will address these questions, attempting to shed light on the novel challenges facing news audiences, journalists and media analysts alike.