We were honored to have Prof. Dr. Shelly Boulianne, Professor of Digital Political Communication at the Université Catholique de Lille and currently a Research Fellow in our research group, giving a talk on her latest research on November, 28.
In her talk “Pandemic activism in comparative perspective: Exploring the roles of digital media uses, misinformation, and populist attitudes”, she presented her latest work on the roles of populist attitudes, digital media uses, misinformation, and pandemic activism, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Boulianne exhibited the results of two cross-national surveys which she conducted in 2021 and 2023, in Germany, Canada, the UK, the US, and France. Both surveys demonstrated that populist attitudes are marginally correlated to the consumption of online information from websites and social media accounts of candidates and parties. Meanwhile, in both studies misinformation is notably and positively correlated with populist attitudes. Her research examined the extent to which these relationships replicate for both left and right-wing citizens, as well as citizens from different countries.
The talk showed that misinformation is positively correlated with engagement in pandemic activism, while populist attitudes are weakly related with involvement in pandemic-related activism. Furthermore, she presented that the online consumption of information from candidates and parties is positively associated with increased levels of participation in pandemic activism.
We thank Prof. Dr. Shelly Boulianne for her enriching presentation on the implications of misinformed participation in terms of managing the pandemic and democracy.