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On December 13, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy held a scientific seminar on the topic “Digital public space and new ways of disseminating information”

The seminar moderated by Alexander Lutsenko (LIERR, EHESS) heard a presentation by Dr. Dominique Cardon, Professor of sociology at the Institute Sciences Po (Paris), Director of the Laboratory Médialab.

While at first perceived as a space of political emancipation, the web is now considered a danger to public life. Topics like fake-news, trolls, filter bubbles, and polarization of the public space have become important issues. The digital space is described as an unregulated market of information, controlled by the algorithms of powerful internet actors. In my speech I would like to show how the social sciences can use digital methods to understand informational practices on the internet and the new ways of disseminating digital information. The central argument will be that, despite having been drastically altered by new web practices, the digital public sphere continues to be governed by structural constraints linked to the issues of popularity and authoritativeness of information sources. By referring to research on the digital media in France, we will try to draw a picture of the new architecture of the informational ecosystem.