Democracy, Social Media and Viral Lies. A comparative framing analysis of three influential actors in disinformation policy in the Dutch digital landscape

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Since 2016, the issue of disinformation on social media has become an urgent topic. Scholars, policy makers and experts argue that this phenomenon can form a substantial threat to contemporary democracies, undermining trust in established institutions and electoral processes. Yet in current research on disinformation, the connection between theory and practice is often absent. Therefore, in order to establish a first step in investigating what kind of anti-disinformation policies would be fair, effective and broadly supported, this study takes a closer look at three important actors that influence the debate on a practical level. These three actors in the Dutch digital landscape are governmental institutions, social media platforms and relevant NGO’s. Subsequently, this comparative qualitative research uses framing theory to operationalize and analyze how these actors perceive the problem of disinformation on social media, how they perceive its solutions, and how these solutions are motivated and legitimized. This study finds two major similarities in used framings – concerning the nature of the problem and the focus on media literacy – and four major differences – concerning the cause of the problem and perspectives on transparency, content moderation and freedom of expression.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen