Report "Protecting Election Integrity in the Age of Social Media: Best Practices"

On report "Protecting Election Integrity in the Age of Social Media: Best Practices".

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Report "Protecting Election Integrity in the Age of Social Media: Best Practices" can be found herepdf

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Ever since U.S. Presidential elections in 2016, the role of social networks and the threat of foreign interference has become a dominant issue in almost all discussions related to election integrity.

It is especially topical for small countries, such as Latvia. That is why two Latvia-based civil society organisations - Center for Public Policy Providus and Baltic Center for Media Excellence – organized an international conference „Protecting the integrity of elections: Experience of Latvia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Ireland” on December 14, 2018.

During the conference, representatives from several countries, representing both governmental and non-governmental sector, shared their recent experience in monitoring election integrity during 2017-2018. Their stories have been added to this report, focusing particularly on Latvia, Sweden, Germany and Ireland.

There was a consensus among all participants of the conference that elections campaigns are undergoing profound transformations. Particularly, the role of large social networks is on the rise. That is why these networks need to become more transparent, accountable and should do more to counter disinformation. In fact, according to Special Eurobarometer 477 (fieldwork done in September 2018), 73% of EU citizens are concerned about online disinformation or misinformation. Citizens of some of the countries described in this report are even more concerned than an average European: 74% in Latvia, 77% in Sweden and 81% in Ireland.

The organizers of the conference hope that the case studies included in this report describing in detail the experience of 2017 federal elections in Germany, 2018 parliamentary elections in Sweden and Latvia, as well as the experience of 2018 referendum on abortion in Ireland, will be helpful to civic activists and public officials across the world to monitor their own election and referenda campaigns.

This report was made possible by support from Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

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