From the Democratic Society‘s Anthony Zacharzewski:
I spent the last couple of days at the EU’s Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights. It was an interesting exchange of views, but I have to confess that by the end my horizons had been opened up so wide by stories of big data, big platforms and deep fakes that I was desperate to bring it back down to actions and basics. So when it came my turn to speak, in the last session, on the topic of “Free and fair elections and an informed and pluralistic democratic debate”. This is (roughly) what I said:
I want to start from something that Tanit Koch said, “We shouldn’t take human nature out of the equation”. I’d go even further. When we’re thinking about these huge issues such as disinformation, big platforms and big data, we should start from human nature and the human condition.
People are generally stressed out and time poor, I know I am. They don’t have time to read and process information in a structured way, and how we think about information and democracy has to take account of that fact. People are not “desiccated calculating machines”. They are warm, illogical, emotional beings, and making democracy work better isn’t just a question of putting better information in and getting better information out.
The full breakdown of the three practical things that I want to suggest can be found here.