Federica Nunziata

The politics of influencers



Digital platforms play a major role in the rise, success and decline of the political players of the new era. On the Internet, the dynamics of agenda setting not only involve traditional political actors, but also influencers and digital opinion leaders who assume a new centrality in public debate. This article examines the relationship between politics and influencers in the digital environment, defining its main trends and potential risks. Firstly, it proposes a reflection on the processes and mechanisms that triggered this connection, starting from the crisis of intermediate bodies and their traditional role of mediation, up to the emergence of new protagonists who autonomously interpret politics by exploiting digital disintermediation. Secondly, it identifies and explores three aspects of this relationship: the recruitment of influencers, as a widespread practice in the context of campaigns both as an endorsement to a candidate, and to mobilize citizens – especially the younger ones – to vote; the spontaneous and on-demand involvement of digital creators on specific political and social issues, i.e. influencers who use the popularity gained on social networks to influence users' opinions and political choices, or in some cases to actually run for political roles; the new forms of political leadership that build their image and influence through digital media, assuming the traits of actual influencers lent to politics, or political influencers. In conclusion, some perspective considerations will be drawn on the relationship between politics and influencers in the overall context of the platformization of politics


  • Influencers
  • Political Influencers
  • Digital Opinion Leaders
  • Digital Platforms
  • Political Communication


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