Often social media are lumped together as one unit of analysis, usually with reference to their content. This misses the point. The platforms which constitute ‘social media’ organisations do not produce content. During the Arab Spring revolutions across MENA on-ground activists leveraged the power of social media to disseminate content, bridge divides, and rally fellow citizens to a cause.
In November 2016, Donald J. Trump won the US presidential election on the back of a massive populist wave and hard-line immigration stance, going so far as to advocate for the “complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Just how influential was the digital and social media sphere, particularly Breitbart? A landmark study observes, “Breitbart emerges as the nexus of conservative media.”