A new report, Kinder, Gentler Politics, published this week, is calling on the UK Government to introduce a 'Civil Internet Tax' on large social media platforms to fund initiatives to tackle the rise of online abuse in political debate. It calls for 25% of the revenue raised to be ring-fenced for grassroots anti-discrimination campaigns. The report, produced … Continue reading REPORT: Tax social media giants to fund anti-discrimination campaigns
By Areeq Chowdhury. Is it time to nationalise Facebook? Recently, social media platforms have transformed from a space to socialise, share photos, and stare at memes, to a centre of digital political warfare and the murky harvesting of personal data. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to discern fact from fiction, online abuse is rampant across comment … Continue reading A publicly-owned Facebook? Interesting idea, but fraught with difficulty
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?
By Tess Woolfenden. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the issue of social media regulation - or lack thereof - has been raised in mainstream public debate in the US and, to a lesser extent, here in the UK. The scandal – in which personal data from Facebook was harvested to create targeted … Continue reading Cambridge Analytica and the future of social media
By Areeq Chowdhury. The Cambridge Analytica debacle appears to be the straw that will break the camel’s back. The idea of data being unwittingly taken from users for the purpose of targeted advertising is nothing new, but the idea that it’s been done to contribute to the victory of Donald Trump, or perhaps Brexit, has … Continue reading With great power comes great regulation
In a statement published today Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, outlined a series of steps the social media platform are going to take to 'protect the integrity of the democratic process.' As part of this, he announced that they will make transparent who is paying for adverts on Facebook and highlight what adverts are being run … Continue reading Facebook to put an end to so-called political ‘dark ads’
By Frank Kibble. The discussion about digital democracy often focuses on how technology can transform the way people are engaged with politics here in Britain or in other strongly developed countries. We forget that for us, democracy is thoroughly entrenched in society from voter to parliamentarian. In other parts of the world where democracy is … Continue reading La Repartija to Democracia Digital: The Story of Digital Democracy in Peru
By William Louch. Representative democracies are in the midst of a crisis. The age of the party is over. Turnout at elections is declining across Europe with (almost) every passing election, whilst the disconnect between political parties and wider society is made increasingly apparent with every photograph tweeted by Emily Thornberry. As Peter Mair writes … Continue reading Democracy Rebooted: Participation for a digital age
With just over two weeks to go until Scotland decides it's future in the Independence Referendum, WebRoots Democracy has analysed the social media followings of the two official campaigns who have been hitting social media hard with videos, statuses, twibbons and even ice-bucket challenges: Yes Scotland and Better Together. This analysis is on the basis … Continue reading Which Scottish #indyref campaign is leading on social media?
In the run up to the 2015 General Election, WebRoots Democracy will be analysing the social media followings of the main political parties and publishing monthly ‘Election by Social Media’ results. This analysis is on the basis of Facebook and Twitter followers and generates a percentage share of followers, where in this case followers equals votes. Below are … Continue reading Far-right party, Britain First, now has the largest social media presence