Update: the Democracy and Digital Technologies Committee published its report, titled “Digital Technology and the Resurrection of Trust“, on 29 June 2020. The report provides a compelling and wide-ranging analysis of key problems and potential solutions and I encourage you to read it carefully. It was a pleasure to contribute to it with my testimony.
On 29 October, I had the pleasure to testify for the Democracy and Digital Technologies Committee of the UK House of Lords. Together with Helen Margetts and Martin Moore, we discussed the ways in which digital media are changing the way our democracies function and what governments around the world are doing, and should be doing, to reap the greatest benefits and prevent the most troubling harms resulting from the process.
The transcript of the session is now available on the Committee’s website. During the session, I drew on research on misinformation conducted as part of Loughborough University’s Online Civic Culture Centre, on work on the role of UK tabloids in spreading misinformation coauthored with Andrew Chadwick and Ben O’Loughlin, on research on social media and political participation I have been doing with Augusto Valeriani for the past five years, on a wide-ranging literature review on social media, polarization and disinformation commissioned by the Hewlett Foundation to which I contributed, and on work I have done on the prevalence, or lack thereof, of echo chambers online. I also relied on many colleagues’ work and insight, and I hope I have done justice to at least some of them in my answers.
Many thanks to Kate Dommett, who serves as Special Advisor to the Committee, and to the Committee for inviting me. It was a thorough and interesting conversation.
An incredible line up @HLDemoDigital today speaking about the impact of tech on public debate @rachelcoldicutt @martinjemoore @prof_vaccari @HelenMargetts @akrasodomski @CarolineElsom pic.twitter.com/wVdUsQpULp
— Dr Kate Dommett (@KateDommett) October 29, 2019