Submission to the Electoral Matters Committee’s Inquiry into the Impact of Social Media on Elections and Electoral Administration

Authors: Lilleker, D.

Publisher: Parliament of Victoria

Abstract:

During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown’s experienced in many of the nations of the world, social media has once again proved itself a space where misinformation on the veracity of government’s and WHO information can be questioned, ideas for dubious preventative and palliative treatments and a variety of conspiracy theories have circulated. However, the social isolation measures also highlight the importance of social media in connecting people. Caring for the vulnerable, clapping for carers and general sociability among family and friends has been facilitated across these platforms.

What is needed is a dialogue on the dangers and a set of clear instructions which platform operators and governments can institute, monitor and enforce so that the platforms can remain spaces that are safe for users. A space where they are not exposed to ideas that damage themselves (as during the pandemic) or have the propensity to impede democratic processes. Citizens must not be misinformed or manipulated, and regulations must be sufficiently clear and robust to prevent that happening.

https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/emc/inquiries/article/4561

Source: Manual

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