New rules needed to ensure social media does not undermine elections
Growth of online platforms in SA means national polls may not be immune to campaigns of disinformation
The eyes of the world are, rightly, focused on ongoing debates in the US about the role Russia may have played in getting Donald Trump elected to office, and the possibility of similar meddling in the French elections and the UK Brexit vote through social media. With our own elections just a year away it’s worth asking whether SA’s electoral system is immune from this level of political interference. Isn’t the environment ripe for some serious undermining of the electoral system because of a set of election rules and regulations that are sorely in need of updating? Sure, the Russians may not be the greatest threat to SA’s sovereignty (although if their attitude towards getting nuclear power station contracts is anything to go by, we already have a reason to be afraid). The threats to our own election are more likely to come from internal forces: people keen to spread misinformation, disinformation, fake news and scare stories in an attempt to influence the outcome of the 2019 electi...
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