Are mind-reading algorithms stealing our democracy?

Political advertising has got smarter - but have we? Lush and Fat Rat Films have released a quirky drama-documentary, combining expert interviews with the likes of Guardian journalist, Carole Cadwalladr, and old-fashioned alien invasion melodrama. The documentary introduces the viewer to psychographic advertising techniques and explains how data from social media platforms may be fuelling … Continue reading Are mind-reading algorithms stealing our democracy?

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Did Russia hack the referendum?

By Ben Pearson. On January 22nd, WebRoots Democracy hosted a public seminar to explore claims about Russian interference in the EU referendum. To assess the evidence and shed some light on how interference could have taken place, we were joined by Sky’s technology correspondent Alexander J Martin and UCL’s Dr Gianluca Stringhini. Areeq Chowdhury opened … Continue reading Did Russia hack the referendum?

The fate of digital democracy is linked to the fate of online voting

By Areeq Chowdhury. What if we could get rid of politicians and simply vote on everything ourselves? Why limit ourselves to referenda on independence movements, and not have referenda on all issues affecting our lives? These are the questions which spur much of the civic tech innovation we see in the UK and across the … Continue reading The fate of digital democracy is linked to the fate of online voting

Cost of Voting: Report Launch

By Ben Pearson. On November 6th, we held a panel discussion in the House of Commons to launch our latest report: Cost of Voting. The report is the first of its kind, and assesses the potential impact of an online voting system on voter turnout and the public purse. Speaking on the panel, we had … Continue reading Cost of Voting: Report Launch

UK signs up to the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment

The UK Government, alongside countries in the EU and the European Free Trade Area, has signed up to the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment. The declaration commits the UK to 'digital evolution' and the 'digital transformation' of public services. Government Minister, Caroline Nokes MP, signed the declaration behalf of the UK. The document states that parties … Continue reading UK signs up to the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment

The 2017 New Zealand General Election: A Digital Review

By Frank Kibble. The General Election that has just been fought in New Zealand was a deeply captivating and forever-shifting contest. Bill English’s National Party were looking to hold on to power for a fourth term but lost support due to voter fatigue with their supposed failure to deliver on promises. The Labour Party, who … Continue reading The 2017 New Zealand General Election: A Digital Review

The sn-app general election?

By Areeq Chowdhury. The 2017 snap general election was called to bring about a “strong and stable” government but as we know, this did not quite go to plan with the incumbent Conservative government losing their existing majority. They will now form a minority government with help from the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland. … Continue reading The sn-app general election?

Write-up: Hitting refresh on the Digital Democracy Commission

By Ben Pearson. On the 26th January 2017, WebRoots Democracy (WRD) launched it's most recent report, Democracy 2.0, in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House. Alongside our panel discussion with Areeq Chowdhury (WRD), Hannah Bardell MP (SNP), Emma Mulqueeny OBE (Digital Democracy Commission), and Carl Miller (Centre for the Analysis of Social Media), we held an … Continue reading Write-up: Hitting refresh on the Digital Democracy Commission

Facebook and fact-checkers can’t defeat fake news, only education can

By Areeq Chowdhury & Oliver Sidorczuk. Fake news, cyber-trolls, echo chamber. We're in a new era. An era where digital technology has a tangible impact on our lives and in our politics. It's 'Democracy 2.0'. Although there are so many possibilities, we need to understand and clamp down on the abuse, in order to exploit … Continue reading Facebook and fact-checkers can’t defeat fake news, only education can

REPORT: The Government must focus on political education in schools to tackle the rise of fake news

Teenagers should be taught to critically analyse what they read on the internet to help tackle the rise of ‘fake news’, the Institute for Digital Democracy (IDD) has said in its latest report. The recommendation – made as part of a report to mark the two-year anniversary of the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy - … Continue reading REPORT: The Government must focus on political education in schools to tackle the rise of fake news