European Union,General,International

Policy paper on AI and Freedom of Expression in Elections

13 Apr , 2021  

Vienna, 13 April 2021: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other forms of automation have a rapidly increasing impact on how citizens access and share information, especially through social media networks and online platforms. These platforms use AI as part of highly complex and opaque systems to curate content, resulting in significant impact on Freedom of Expression that is, however, poorly understood. 

Jointly with VDSG / data4good  Election-Watch.EU tackled this issue from two sides:

The Policy Paper captures the current impact of AI on freedom of expression in political campaign and elections, and recommends a human rights based approach to policies and regulatory measures in support of upholding the freedom of expression, the right to political participation as well as an effective civil society access to data for an independent social media monitoring.  The Policy Paper addresses the regulatory and soft-law approach to the problems posed by AI. 

On the other hand, Civil Society Watchdogs need to be empowered to collect and analyze the data necessary for carrying out their missions.  This is the goal of the API Guidance Documentation, which aims to show how to obtain access to public data from Twitter and Facebook.  This data is crucial in order to monitor the social impact of these platforms, and hold platforms and politicians accountable.

This project came out of a joint initiative between VDSG / data4good and Election-Watch.EU and was supported by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Spotlight on Artificial Intelligence and Freedom of Expression ( #SAIFE) project. VDSG / Data4Good and Election-Watch.EU co-organised a webinar on this topic on 27 January 2021 which can be viewed on the VDSG YouTube Channel.


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