Response to the Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies

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Rebecca Rumbul, Alex Parsons

Response to the Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies


  1. About mySociety
  2. Summary
  3. General
    1. How has digital technology changed the way that democracy works in the UK and has this been a net positive or negative effect?
    2. How have the design of algorithms used by social media platforms shaped democratic debate? To what extent should there be greater accountability for the design of these algorithms?
  4. Education
    1. What role should every stage of education play in helping to create a healthy, active, digitally literate democracy?
  5. Online campaigning
    1. Would greater transparency in the online spending and campaigning of political groups improve the electoral process in the UK by ensuring accountability, and if so what should this transparency look like?
    2. What effect does online targeted advertising have on the political process, and what effects could it have in the future? Should there be additional regulation of political advertising?
  6. Privacy and anonymity
    1. To what extent does increasing use of encrypted messaging and private groups present a challenge to the democratic process?
    2. What are the positive or negative effects of anonymity on online democratic discourse?
  7. Democratic debate
    1. To what extent does social media negatively shape public debate, either through encouraging polarisation or through abuse deterring individuals from engaging in public life?
    2. To what extent do you think that there are those who are using social media to attempt to undermine trust in the democratic process and in democratic institutions; and what might be the best ways to combat this and strengthen faith in democracy?
  8. Misinformation
    1. What might be the best ways of reducing the effects of misinformation on social media platforms?
  9. Moderation
    1. How could the moderation processes of large technology companies be improved to better tackle abuse and misinformation, as well as helping public debate flourish?
  10. Technology and democratic engagement
    1. How could the Government better support the positive work of civil society organisations using technology to facilitate engagement with democratic processes?
    2. How can elected representatives use technology to engage with the public in local and national decision making? What can Parliament and Government do to better use technology to support democratic engagement and ensure the efficacy of the democratic process?
    3. What positive examples are there of technology being used to enhance democracy?

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Cite this

Rumbul, R. and Parsons, A. (2019). Response to the Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies. [online] mySociety Research. Available at: [Accessed 23 Jul 2021].