In his interview with the magazine of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
, Matthias C. Kettemann
gives all-clear signals to all those who see our democracy in danger through phenomena such as fake news or hate speech saying that "there is no empirical evidence that disinformation and hate speech pose a threat to 'democracy'.”
In his opinion, the shifts in social reference frameworks and the use of inhuman terminology by political actors are much more dangerous.
Is our democratic public even conceivable without so-called information intermediaries such as Facebook or Twitter?
Matthias C. Kettemann: There is no doubt that information intermediaries provide important communication spaces in which contributions to public debate take place. In particular, the perceptible presence - at least in interested circles - of individual politicians on social media enables a new intensity of interaction. Coordinated political activity, which then also produces results offline - think of the #metoo and Fridays for Future movements - is strongly promoted by online communication. However, social practices and people's real use of the media are also crucial. The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2019 for Germany, for example, has shown that even sections of the population with an affinity to the Internet predominantly use other sources to obtain information. As in the past, television is the main source of news information for 45 percent of adult Internet users. Only a small percentage of them exclusively inform themselves online.
The entire interview can be read in the magazine of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (pdf