Expressing Discontent Online: Freedom of Speech or Damaging for Society?

Social media offer an important opportunity for ordinary citizens to express their viewpoints on pressing societal issues, such as the refugee crisis. Recently, a moral discussion on the appropriateness of these expressions emerged. On the one hand, people’s interpretations were regarded as discriminating and overly hostile. On the other hand, people plied for the freedom of speech: Citizens should be free to express their discontent on social media. But how harmful are the populist voices of discontented citizens? Populism is all around us. It entails the perceived opposition between the ordinary people as “good” and others, such as immigrants or politicians as “evil”. People use this minds

ASCoR Career Event - What the future might bring

What am I going to do after my PhD? Should I stay in academia or am I maybe better suited for the private sector? What are my chances to get a job after obtaining my degree? Every PhD faces questions like these at some point in time. Facing a highly competitive job market, there is a growing concern among PhDs about their future career. But it’s not only PhDs who are aware, academic institutions, including the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), increasingly pay attention to the career development of their PhDs. As a reaction to these developments, ASCoR and its PhDs at the University of Amsterdam organized a career event last Friday (06/11/2015) to address these concerns fro

Scandal! What happens to politicians on the public pillory

Imagine you are a politician and suddenly in the center of a scandal. What is going on in your mind? How do you feel when you get confronted with extremely critical media coverage? Answers to these questions might reveal what it means to be a prominent headliner. At first, there is no doubt that in democracy it is the media’s role to criticize and control politicians. However, it is not always clear in how far politicians in the center of a media scandal have really misbehaved. Anyway, they have no choice: They have to deal with public outrage and find a way out from being on the public pillory. In this situation, politicians are not able to ignore media coverage, although they are aware tha

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