Summary of Once considered a boon to democracy, social media have started to look like its nemesis

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

Once considered a boon to democracy, social media have started to look like its nemesis summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Controversial
  • Background
  • Hot Topic


Social media helped nurture pro-democracy protests in Iran, Egypt and Ukraine and have served as a vehicle for public discourse and participation around the world. However, the use of platforms like Facebook to spread fake news and target vulnerable groups with extremist political messages has given social media a more sinister cast in recent years. This in-depth article in The Economist argues that social media increasingly undermine democratic ideals and process, and discusses possible options for regulations to safeguard democracy.

About the Author

The Economist is a British weekly news magazine published in London, UK. 



During the popular uprisings in Iran, Egypt and Ukraine, many people came to see social media as a powerful tool for promoting democracy. More recently, however, social media’s ability to spread fake news and divert people’s attention from often less exciting but more fact-based content has cast these platforms’ relationship with politics in a more sinister light. The Russian government, for example, has made social media a cornerstone of its disinformation campaigns aimed at shoring up support at home and at destabilizing governments abroad.

Today, 40% of the digital...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Fake News
This Is Not Propaganda
Merchants of Truth
The Emerging Risk of Virtual Societal Warfare

Related Channels

Comment on this summary