Could the EU elections be hacked? The 2019 European Parliament elections are taking place two days from now, and online campaigning has been an important way for candidates to get their message out. At the same time, these last couple of years have seen story after story of malicious actors attempting to deploy cyber-attacks and disinformation to disrupt the democratic process.
Earlier in May, Debating Europe attended an event in Brussels hosted by Google on “Information, Trust and Elections in the Digital Age”. We interviewed participants at the event, putting your questions and comments to them about the Internet and the future of democracy.
What do our readers think? We had a comment from Julia arguing that the Internet “means those elected to serve the people and spend their collective money from taxes must make responsible, ethical and pro-people decisions or else face their wrong-doings going viral.” Is she right? Has the Internet brought greater transparency to public life?
To get a response, we put her comment to Paolo Cesarini, Head of Unit for Media Convergence & Social Media at DG CONNECT in the European Commission. How would he respond?
Next up, we had a much more sceptical comment from Karolina, who believes the Internet has “given a free platform to people that abuse democracy and freedom of speech, either by spreading propaganda or hurling abuse at others, and our democracy has not had the strength to stand up to such behaviour and violations.”
To get a reaction, we put Karolina’s comment to Will Moy, Director of Full Fact, a UK-based, independent fact checking charity. What would he say?
Finally, we had a comment from Eugenia arguing that the “advantages of internet top the disadvantages by far because for the first time in history, we, the ordinary people, have a voice.”
We put Eugenia’s comment to Milan Zubíček, Disinformation Policy Lead at Google, for his response. What would he say?
Has the Internet changed democracy for the better? Is freedom of speech being abused online? Has the Internet brought greater transparency to public life? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
Image Credits: (CC) Unsplash – Ludovic Toinel
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