Uneingeschränkter Zugang

Even in Sweden?1: Misinformation and elections in the new media landscape

   | 07. Juni 2020
Nordic Journal of Media Studies's Cover Image
Nordic Journal of Media Studies
What is Nordic in the Nordic Media Studies?


The Swedish national parliamentary election of 2018 took place amidst considerable concern over the role of misinformation. This paper examines the role of digital media during the election against the background of the Swedish media system. It focuses on the role of bots and how they supported the Sweden Democrats, whose agenda was also promoted by anti-immigrant alternative news websites. This article reports on a study of Twitter that used computational techniques to distinguish bots from genuine accounts across hashtags related to the election and Swedish politics (such as #valet2018). I examine which parties are supported and criticised by bots and by genuine accounts, and discuss the content of the tweets. In this article, I place bots in the context of broader debates about the role of digital media in politics and argue that misinformation and alternative news websites will demand continued future vigilance.