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Tuesday, September 10 • 09:30 - 10:30
Covfefe: Donald Trump and the strategic distraction of the media in the age of Twitter

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In democratic societies, political agendas are jointly determined by multiple actors, with mainstream media typically taking a leading role. With the arrival of social media, agenda-setting power has shifted away from mainstream media onto politicians who engage on social media. President Trump's reliance on social media to convey his opinions and feelings is unprecedented, although the implications on agenda setting are poorly understood. We show how President Trump successfully deploys Twitter to distract principal media (The New York Times and ABC News) from topics that are potentially harmful to the president. We find that
increased media coverage of the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference is immediately followed by President Trump tweeting increasingly about unrelated issues that represent his political strengths, such as his record on jobs. This increased activity, in turn, is followed by a significant reduction in coverage of the Mueller investigation, suggesting that President Trump successfully distracts the media from topics that he considers threatening.

avatar for Stephan Lewandowsky

Stephan Lewandowsky

Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Bristol
Stephan Lewandowsky ist Kognitionswissenschaftler an der Universität von Bristol. Er untersucht die Funktionsweise des menschlichen Geistes, indem er Computersimulationen unseres Gedächtnisses und unserer Entscheidungsprozesse schreibt.In jüngerer Zeit interessiert ihn die Frage... Read More →

Tuesday September 10, 2019 09:30 - 10:30 CEST
Großer Saal

Attendees (7)