UK General Election 2019: Digital disruption by the political parties, and the need for new rules (joint paper)

Evidence from the 2019 General Election shows that the need to overhaul the system of electoral administration has gone from urgent to critical.

It has been nearly two decades since the UK’s electoral laws were last updated. In those twenty years the internet has fundamentally changed political campaigning. The Information Commissioner’s Office, the Electoral Commission and parliamentarians on the DCMS Select Committee have in the past few years recognised that the current UK electoral regulatory framework is no longer fit for purpose in countering digital threats to democracy. Yet Government has failed to prioritise reform.

This briefing brings together the findings of a group of eight organisations who monitored the UK’s digital landscape leading up to the General Election. The examples given are a partial snapshot of what happened, given the limited data available to civil society, journalists and researchers. Yet the evidence that there is demonstrates that social media and other communications technologies enable and in some cases incentivise problematic behaviour by political parties and other interests when they are unconstrained by regulation.

The Business of Hate: Bankrolling Bigotry in Germany and the Online Funding of Hate Groups

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) have published a new study which shows how 17 known German far right groups and actors allegedly use online funding services to fund their activities. These services include companies like Mastercard, Paypal, Giropay and WooCommerce). More than half of these online funding services have Terms of Service (ToS) that should prohibit their use by such sites.

Das Geschäft mit dem Hass – Wie Online-Bezahldienstleister von der rechtsextremen Szene genutzt werden

Das Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) und der Global Disinformation Index (GDI) haben in ihrer neusten Studie 17 bekannte deutsche extremistische Gruppen und Akteure identifiziert, die Online-Finanzdienste nutzen, um ihre Aktivitäten zu finanzieren. Zu diesen Diensten gehören Unternehmen wie American Express, Mastercard und Visa, Paypal, Square und Klarna, aber auch Online-Shopping Unternehmen wie WooCommerce und Spendendienste wie Patreon.