Today’s citizens have the power to assemble online and it’s disrupting traditional political systems. The Internet has rewired civil society in unprecedented ways, propelling collective action to a radically new dimension. However, it has also given rise to right-wing populist movements such as Brexit in the UK and the rise of Donald Trump in the USA. Through the increasing polarisation of opinions online, the Internet has facilitated this development and has actually increased conflict and ideological segregation between opposing views, granting a disproportionate amount of clout to the most extreme opinions. Pressure from online activists can cause our democratically elected leaders to act in the strangest ways. In this blog post, I reflect on the effects of political polarisation on democracy and how social media has fuelled the dynamics of populism around the world.

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