Ukraine’s complex transition
Edited By Klaus Bachmann and Igor Lyubashenko
The Role of Digital Communication Tools in Mass Mobilisation, Information and Propaganda
The main value added by the internet to traditional methods and instruments of communication consists in its revolutionary effect on the dissemination of information,1 because it provides every single individual with an endlessly evolving communication technology, which enables him to reach an almost unlimited number of interlocutors with a technology that allows for two-way communication. That way, the technology provides one with a unique possibility to build networks based on multilateral communication. As a result, they enable an individual not only to share his or her views with a potentially unlimited number of recipients, but also to assess the size of a group whose members hold similar views and opinions. The internet’s capacity to echo opinions2 affects a whole number of concepts describing social interactions through media, such as, for example the “spiral of silence” and “pluralistic ignorance”. As will be shown later in this chapter, the internet’s impact on the functioning of both of these concepts explains to a large extent the phenomena that could be observed in the cyberspace after the annexation of Crimea by Russia. However, this chapter will deal with two main topics: The use of social media, internet communication and mobile phones during the Maidan uprising with the specific impact that this use exerted on the dynamics of the protests and the ability of the protesters to rally, organise and mobilise, and – in the second part of the chapter – the specific use which was made by largely unknown authors of posts and...
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