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Lords Digital Technology and Democracy Committee to hear from political parties on digital campaigning


The House of Lords Committee on Democracy and Digital Technology will next week hear from witnesses from the political parties as it examines how they use data and campaign online.  

The Committee will take evidence from the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the SNP from 10:30am on Tuesday 25 February. The session will be followed with evidence on algorithmic design from online activists and a leading academic.

Giving evidence to the Committee will be: 

10:30am

  • Denise Brown, Liberal Democrats
  • Representative from the Labour Party
  • Representative from the SNP

11:30am

  • Dr Jennifer Cobbe, University of Cambridge
  • Christoph Schott, Campaign Director, Avaaz
  • Alaphia Zayab, Senior Campaigner, Avaaz

In the first session questions will include the extent to which parties campaigns rely on paid promotion online compared to organic sharing of their material, how parties use social media data to micro-target voters and how this has changed in recent years, and what impact it would have if parties were as restricted in using data under GDPR regulations as other advertisers are. 

The second session will focus on how algorithms shape what people see online and how they can promote disinformation, how bias in algorithmic design can be tackled and whether algorithms cause new behaviours or confirm users existing behaviours and beliefs. 

On Wednesday 26 February at 4pm the Committee will take evidence via video link from Professor Sarah Roberts and Professor Safiya Noble, Co-Directors of UCLA Centre for Critical Internet Inquiry. The session will focus on moderation practices of social media platforms and algorithmic design.

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