Big Bad Social Media: Distributed Affects and Popular Politics – Bishnupriya Ghosh

Those with access to digital media are often aware of their access as a privilege not available to all; the drive to quantify is a willed use of media capacities to highlight the part that does not have access. Because affiliation bonds with the surplus and recognizes it as such, recognizes it cannot be fully counted, the relationship is necessarily beyond the personal: the part of the part will always remain unknowable, anonymous. Whether or not social media users disclose their identity what they disclose about the part that they seek to make visible is that it is fundamentally different.

From Populist Media to Media Populism – Giuseppe Fidotta, Joshua Neves and Joaquin Serpe

If our approach in this framing essay emphasizes the import of media infrastructures and techno-human processes for understanding populism, and political life more broadly—what we frame as a shift from populist media to media populism—this is not to diminish the critical need for accounts of political subjectivity, aesthetics, discourse, and the like. But it is to observe that such processes have been basically transformed by our computational habitus.

Populist Realisms and Counterfeit Aesthetics – Jason Pine

The willingness of publics to believe in obvious fakes is an enduring phenomenon because, for them, shoddy performances are an expression not of fakery, but of realness, a realness that makes room for anyone to become anything they want. This possibilism, ripening in states of precarity, supersedes political ideology, is a crucial source of the cynical political power that nurtures it.