A follow up opinion piece to the project’s most recent UK General Election memo was written by John Gallacher and Monica Kaminska, and published in the Guardian.

 

Facebook and Twitter fast became major electoral battlegrounds in the 2017 general election. It is here that campaigns had the potential to be won or lost. Young voters in particular turned to social media as their primary source of political news and information.

Worryingly, multiple reports noted that political parties used controversial micro-targeting techniques to reach key demographics with highly personalised messages. Independent research of how these sites are used by political actors during election periods is therefore vital in order to provide a level playing field, and to allow voters to understand the techniques that are used to influence their opinions.

While we may have already lost the battle to fully understand the influence of Facebook in the 2017 election, we appeal to the company to become a responsible member of future elections. There are three ways Facebook could be more transparent.

Read the full article in the Guardian.


Note: This post was originally published on the Political Bots research blog on . It might have been updated since then in its original location. The post gives the views of the author(s), and not necessarily the position of the Oxford Internet Institute.