GLOBAL

GLOBAL

Wilders and the trailblazing Influencers-politician turned party leader are seizing power from social media

The growing influence of social media in politics has been a topic of discussion for some time now. Since Donald Trump became president and the United Kingdom left the European Union, the significant weight of social media has been the subject of study and analysis. However, what has happened with the European elections represents a different evolution compared to what has already been observed in the United States and in the case of Brexit: we are no longer dealing solely with politicians using social media to achieve certain results. Now we are facing digital natives or experienced politicians, such as in the case of Dutch Geert Wilders, who merge their identity with their social media account.

The difference is significant. The disconnection between political involvement , intermediary bodies, and representation is evident in the results and activities of the parties. A striking example is Fidias Panayiotou, a 24-year-old Cypriot with over 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube, recently elected to the European Parliament as an independent. Panayiotou approached his election as one of his challenges: he admits to never having voted and knowing nothing about the European Union or politics, but commits to doing something for his community.

 

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