Digital technology has opened up the possibility of encouraging more engagement by casual users. Unfortunately, it also encourages superficial engagement.
It can be easy for a specific point of view to be moved up the scale of accessibility. This is not confined to digital technologies, but it will be harder to control. It is important that several viewpoints are available - and as nearly as possible equally available - so that informed debate can take place.
Educating people to be wary of believing everything they read is vitally important. Educating people to be discriminating and to actively seek alternative points of view would be desirable - but good luck with that!
Transparency in spending is absolutely vital! Also ways of assigning spending to the benefit of one political group, even if it is not explicit, needs to be managed.
Targeted advertising can be very useful - and it can be very dangerous! Sending contradictory messages to different targets is easy - and difficult to prove unless there is more cooperation between recipients than is common.
Anonymity allows for more robust comment, but allows for ‘fake news’ to go unchallenged more easily. Anonymity for posts from a political party (or someone closely associated with that party) should be banned, if that is feasible.
I do have concerns that the use of social media has made it easier to make derogatory comments and/or accusations against public figures which are difficult to refute if they are false. Social Media can make it quicker to shape public opinion on some subjects, but I do not think this is a new phenomenon, as shown by the £350m for the NHS on vote Leave’s bus.
Some can attempt to use Social Media (and other media, though that is much more expensive) to push their view, whether this is to undermine the democratic process or not. A way to show people using social media to be open-minded and shown how to have access to other viewpoints is needed.
Require a link to authoritative commentators.
Use information about the use of algorithms to get some of these nearer the top pages.
Many elected representatives already use these media to good effect - and many use them poorly, and many do not use them for fear of being ‘trolled’ or of making quick responses which may come back to haunt them later. It will be necessary to consider good and bad examples - and to take account of those who cannot engage fully. These requests for submissions to select committees are an excellent example of positive engagement - BUT they are confined to far too few respondents - and these respondents are often well versed to promote one side or the other of an argument.
Many - and just as many of technology having a negative effect. These requests for submissions to select committees are an excellent example of positive engagement - BUT they are confined to far too few respondents - and these respondents are often well versed to promote one side or the other of an argument.