ABSTRACT

In most of today’s societies, many social and communicative activities implying the construction of cultural meaning are intrinsically tied to media.

There is widespread agreement that one of the most viable forces behind this development is the Internet. Particularly social media can be regarded as a key issue for the process of mediatization. Marked by characteristics like ubiquity, user-generated content (Bruns 2008), multi-mediality and more recently, portability (Chayko 2008, Bächle and Thimm 2014), the Internet has gained increasing influence on people’s lives and daily interactions. But not only are private lives increasingly shaped by mediated exchanges, the public sphere is undergoing changes as well. More and more people are using the Internet as a platform and outlet for their personal opinions, criticisms and decision-making. Most notably, citizens all over the world have been taking their protests to the Internet (see Shirky 2011 for an overview), prominently during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011 (Tufekci and Wilson 2012), but also in other parts of the world, like Germany (Thimm and Bürger 2012) or France (Mercier 2014, Frame and Brachotte 2015).