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Workshop participants gather at the end of the session. Photo credit: Jessica Gut

What do digital technologies do to democracy?

Faculty and graduate student researchers from across the University participated in a multi-disciplinary September 15 McMaster workshop to discuss such digital threats to democracy as “fake news”, election hacking, or the delegation of governance to algorithms, along with the potential of digitization for enhancing democracy.

Sep 17, 2018

Digitization is extensively transforming contemporary life, including democracy. Digital technologies are re-shaping formal democratic procedures, such as the adoption of e-voting or the use of bots in election campaigns. They are also contributing to broader changes in the social contexts that support or undermine democracy, such as when governance shifts away from those formal and public procedures to Facebook’s terms of service or algorithms, or when the pace of change associated with digitization undermines or strengthens the capacity of citizens to engage with political issues.

These issues were explored at a September 15 workshop on “Digital Democracy: Transformations and Public Contestations”, with fifteen presentations by researchers from different departments and Faculties at McMaster and nearby institutions.

The workshop was co-organized by Dr. Sara Bannerman in Communication Studies and Multimedia at McMaster, and Tony Porter and Netina Tan from the Political Science Department, with support from the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, and the Faculty of Social Sciences.

More information about the Digital Democracy workshop.

Photo credit: Jessica Gut