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Performing Authenticity on a Digital Political Stage: Politainment as Interactive Practice and (Populist?) Performance


This article investigates the way politicians use social networking sites as effective communication platforms to discursively enhance authenticity, sincerity and (self-)connection to what can be defined as the “People” (followers/lurkers/net-users). Within the framework of Social Media Critical Discourse Studies, and using tools coming from Multimodal Discourse Analysis, the paper analyses the multi-semiotic elements used by different political leaders (i.e. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Matteo Salvini), to connect with the “People,” and discusses the politainment product as a personalised way to skip the institutional mediation channels of politics.