Smart Society – ‘Fake Analytica’ Style?
Smart Cities and Regional Development Journal (v3. i1. 2019)
Posted: 3 Jul 2019
Date Written: March 10, 2019
The article will focus on the problems generated by the information disorder including the recent “Analytica” scandal and how they imperil the creation of a “smart society”. Essential for the existence of such a society is smart citizenship which is under threat in the age of disinformation. Important questions are related to the quality of participation – one about the diffusion of fake news and hate speech on the web and another to counteracting them through various initiatives. As a framework of the study, I shall use the European human rights standards and regulations which are indispensable to the establishment of a smart environment for all persons and communities. Against this backdrop, the risks for participation and engagement through social media will be analyzed. The study will try to find answers to the following questions: do and to what extent social media trigger information disorder, how Facebook will change after “Analytica” (if at all), and how the users will change their participation habits and behavior (if at all)? In the current research I shall use and enrich my previous investigation projects of civic journalism, blogs, and protests in Bulgaria (in co-authorship with A. Dimova, 2013), of smart journalism in co-authorship with Zankova, Skolkay, Franklin, 2016, of smart citizenship, social networks and local referendums as a tool for expanding community democracy and the most recent one on the effectiveness and efficiency of fact-checking and debunking organizations (in co-authorship with T. Pavleska, A.Skolkay, N.Ribeiro, A.Bechmann (forthcoming). This interdisciplinary piece will be useful for both academics and practitioners and specifically for media and NGO specialists to get knowledge about the increased accountability of the media today, and about the conditions that will guarantee secure people’s involvement in an active and meaningful online participation and debate.
JEL Classification: O35