Last month, the Independent Electoral Review released an interim report outlining what the future of Aotearoa New Zealand’s electoral system could look like.
While a lot of ground is covered in the report – from parliamentary terms to improving voter participation – our submission focuses on the report’s recommendations about managing disinformation, given our longstanding interest and expertise in this area.
Overall, we welcome the panel’s recognition that defining disinformation is difficult and imprecise, and that efforts to address disinformation can potentially have negative consequences for democracy. It is reassuring to see that the panel has taken a broadly cautious approach to this developing policy area, especially as empirical research on the impact of misinformation and disinformation and the efficacy of interventions is still emerging. Additionally, we are pleased to see the panel’s emphasis on education as a critical way to reduce the risk of disinformation in the electoral system.
If you’d like to read our comments on the panel’s specific recommendations on managing disinformation, you can read our full submission below.