Theme: Parties & Elections | Content Type: Event

'Digital Campaigning: Regulation and Oversight'


About this event

Dark ads, bots and disinformation: how can we make sure elections in the UK are free and fair in the digital age?

Unaccountable organisations use information about voters’ private lives to target them with messages. Bots sow discord on comment pages. As the recent US election showed, it is harder and harder to police misleading fake news and disinformation. And in a digital age, it is ever more complicated to track what parties are spending on campaigning.

Join us for this livestreamed panel discussion, hosted by the Political Quarterly, where we draw on the expertise of academics, regulators and politicians to evaluate concrete proposals for achievable reform. Whether you are a student of politics or an interested citizen, this virtual debate will contribute to the vital work of trying to safeguard our democracy.


Dr Katharine Dommett (Chair) is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on digital campaigning and the role of technology in democracies. She serves as Special Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies.

Professor Helen Margetts OBE FBA is Professor of Society and the Internet and Professorial Fellow at Mansfield College. She is also Director of the Public Policy Programme at The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

Louise Edwards is Director of Regulation at the Electoral Commission, the main body charged with overseeing elections. She has expert knowledge of funding and spending at elections and referendums, registering political parties and enforcement work.

Damian Collins MP. As Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in 2017 he published one of the most authoritative reports on disinformation and fake news to date, making detailed recommendations for reform of electoral campaigning.

Further information

Once you sign up for the livestream you will get the chance to send in a question by email in advance or contribute via webchat on the day. An edited version of this debate will be available on YouTube afterwards – if you can’t make the broadcast time, you can still sign up to receive the link when this video is published.

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