Social media are becoming the dominant source of information for significant parts of our societies. There are numerous positive aspects of these media, such as their ability to mobilise for a political cause. Yet at the same time, social media may sometimes negatively impact the public debate. This paper analyses how social media platforms influence democracy in Western countries and makes recommendations on how to address the risks that arise effectively.
Short-term solutions to eradicate fake news include considering social media platforms as full-fledged media companies-thus regulating them through a revised version of press laws which suits new technologies.
The key long-term solution is developing e-literacy among the general public.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.