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Olivier Glassey talks social media and Swiss society in Le Temps

dhCenter member Olivier Glassey, a lecturer in the University of Lausanne (UNIL) Faculty of Social Sciences, was interviewed by Le Temps in late September on the use of social media in Switzerland, as a source of information for forming opinions. 

Glassey commented on the results of a recent Swiss Federal Office of Communication study of Swiss media for 2019, which found that social networks have an increasing impact on opinion formation on the Swiss public; especially on young Swiss and those in French-speaking Switzerland.

These results “highlight life trajectories, with media and technical cultures that accompany each age group. If older people diversify in the way they get information, for example, they are not abandoning the media they have used for many years,” said Glassey, a sociologist specializing in the use of digital technology at UNIL.

Glassey also commented on the implications of social media — both positive and negative — for the future of Swiss democracy.

“With the collaborative filtering that their algorithms promote, social networks produce cells in which we mainly find opinions close to our own. This therefore reduces the heterogeneity of points of view… By removing divergent opinions from view, don’t these platforms produce a homogeneity that makes a culture of consensus more difficult?”

Read the full article and interview (in French) at Le Temps: Grégoire Baur. Les Romands cèdent davantage au chant des sirènes des réseaux sociaux. Le Temps, September 29th, 2020.