Appropriate frameworks for social media analysis: Report for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (NZ)
Recent years have seen growing demand from some members of the New Zealand public and media for increased government capture and analysis of internet-based communications occurring via social media websites and apps. These demands began in earnest in the wake of the 15 March 2019 Christchurch Terror Attacks and were reinvigorated throughout the Covid-19 pandemic period, peaking in proximity to the prolonged occupation of the lawn outside Parliament.
In this report prepared for New Zealand's Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, we argue that government faces unique ethical, legal, and practical challenges in monitoring and responding to mis- and disinformation. As such, we make the case for the establishment and support of a diverse, multidisciplinary civil society-led institution to conduct ongoing independent analysis of social media-based communications for the purpose of monitoring and analysing potential disinformation and misinformation.