House of Lords – Digital Technology and the Resurrection of Trust – Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies

Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies
Digital Technology and the Resurrection of Trust

Report of Session 2019-21 – published 29 June 2020 – HL Paper 77


Foreword by the Chair


Chapter 1: Introduction

Box 1: Definition of platforms

Figure 1: Examples of daily activity across social media platforms globally

The Committee’s work and acknowledgements

Chapter 2: Informed Citizens

Box 2: Definition of misinformation and disinformation

Misinformation and the media

Political advertising

Tackling misinformation and disinformation online

The role of fact checkers

Promoting good information

Communicating statistics

Making use of parliamentary expertise

Public interest journalism

Chapter 3: Accountability

Accountability and the technology platforms

The Online Harms agenda

Figure 2: Timeline of progress on the Online Harms White Paper

Freedom of expression in the online world

Platforms’ ultimate responsibility under a duty of care

Content moderation oversight

Appealing platforms’ decisions

Parliamentary oversight

Regulatory capacity

Box 3: The Regulators

Chapter 4: Transparency

Do platforms cause polarisation and degrade democratic discourse?

Targeted advertising

Foreign interference

Filter bubbles

Algorithmic design and outrage factories

Access for independent researchers

Algorithmic transparency

Box 4: How Google’s algorithms work

Algorithmic bias

Transparency in content moderation

Box 5: President Trump and content moderation study

Chapter 5: Inclusive debate across society

The role of technology in tackling the challenges facing democracy

Supporting technological innovation in democracy

Online voting

Technology as a tool, but not a panacea for problems facing democracy

A democratic information hub

How Government and Parliament could better use digital tools

Chapter 6: Free and fair elections

Box 6: Definition of campaigner

Electoral law

Figure 3: Reported spending by campaigners on digital advertising as a percentage of total advertising spend

Figure 4: Timeline of electoral developments throughout modern British history



Box 7: Imprints

Electoral Commission powers

Outside the formal investigation period

Campaigners’ receipts


Oversight powers

Small donations and spending

Advert databases

Box 8: Mozilla Guidelines for Effective Advert Archives

Campaigners’ use of personal data

Chapter 7: Active digital citizens

Political literacy

Digital skills and digital media literacy

Box 9: Definition of digital media literacy

Table 1: Digital Media Literacy and Digital Skills in the Curriculum

Lessons from abroad

Table 2: Digital pedagogy in Estonia and Finland

Who has responsibility for digital media literacy?

Teaching digital media literacy

Box 10: JCQ Statistics on take-up of computing GCSE and A-level

Making social media companies understandable to the public

Anonymity as a barrier to understanding content on the internet

Source: House of Lords – Digital Technology and the Resurrection of Trust – Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies