Our research is concentrated on the intersection of technology, democracy, and human rights. To date, our focus has been on two key areas: remote online voting and social media regulation. Our reports involve a mixture of research methods including polling; expert roundtables; focus groups; workshops; freedom of information requests; and desk-based analysis. They also contain policy recommendations for actors in government, industry, and society more widely.

Research webpage

Current projects

Unmasking Facial Recognition

Supported by:

JRRT logo

This project explores the potential consequences of live facial recognition surveillance for minoritised communities. In particular, the project is focusing on the potential consequences for people of colour and Muslims in the UK. This research will involve undertaking expert roundtables, interviews, workshops, and desk-based analysis.

The Internet and Islamophobia

Supported by:

OIC logo

The Internet and Islamophobia is a report exploring the roles of youth, leadership, identity, and social media in tackling Islamophobia in the UK. The project builds upon a workshop held in the Houses of Parliament in November 2018 with over 35 leading influencers and young British Muslims. In addition, we are undertaking desk-based analysis to better understand the role that the internet may be playing in the rise of Islamophobia in society. Themes covered include online disinformation campaigns, identity politics, and anti-Muslim hate crime.

Featured reports

The Cratos Principles: An essential guide to assessing remote online voting for use in elections

Supported by:

Paul Hamlyn Foundation logo

The Cratos Principles is the final report of WebRoots Democracy’s ‘Cratos Project’ which took place between 2018 and 2020. Through a series of events, roundtables, and expert interviews, the project set out to design a framework to assess the suitability of remote online voting systems for use in elections. The result of the project is the Cratos Principles, a set of 33 key principles which cover key aspects of accessibility, security, and user experience. In addition, the report includes a review of existing literature, detailed discussion on the challenges and opportunities, and a ratings system weighting the principles by importance.

Kinder, Gentler Politics: Tackling online abuse in political debate

Supported by:
AWRT logo    Royal Holloway logo

Kinder, Gentler Politics is a report exploring the rise of online abuse in political debate, setting out a number of recommendations for how the state and social media platforms can act to combat the issue. The report builds upon a range of existing research and includes analysis of more than 53,000 tweets directed at political influencers in the UK as well as various popular UK political Facebook groups. The research particularly focuses on the impact that online abuse has on the expression of political opinions online.

Research webpage 2

Click here to see more of our reports.