Event 2. Digital Manipulation of Democracy 6.00 pm Wednesday 27th Sep, Melbourne Multicultural Hub

Digital Manipulation of Democracy.

Event 2 in Victorian Fabians Spring Series, "Digitisation and Democracy".

SPEAKERS: Stilgherrian and Vanessa Teague

The capacity and reach of digitisation combined with sophisticated social psychology methods of studying  marketing behaviour means that the democratic process is more open to manipulation than ever.

The effect of this is to subject voters to intensive but disguised attempts change their attitudes.  A standout example is Cambridge Analytica which used Facebook statistics to try to manipulate US voters' intentions in favour of Trump. Cambridge Analytica is now in Australia, registering an office in Maroubra, Sydney in April of this year, and the Liberal Party also uses a big data based marketing system, Parakeelia.

The capacity of corporate organisations and governments to use and abuse data and social psychology to affect peoples' opinions and behaviours is not restricted to this. Is digitisation and big data being used by narrow sectional interests to manipulate and capture voting behaviour and political sentiment? 

Stigherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and broadcaster who covers the politics of the internet and the way it’s changing power relationships at every level of society. He’s particularly interested in security, privacy, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust.

He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide range of media and technology work that’s included ABC Radio, magazines and online media. He survived the first dotcom boom

Stilgherrian currently writes for ZDNet, Crikey and others, produces the podcasts Corrupted Nerds and The 9pm Edict, is a frequent guest on radio and TV, and in his own words, tweets far too prolifically.

Vanessa Teague is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at at The University of Melbourne.

She is also a brilliant and legitimate hacker who has demonstrated that virtually no encrypted system is secure. At the same time she has a passionate commitment to people’s ownership of their own data and to democracy.

She has been invited to appear before several parliamentary inquiries into elections at the state and federal level, to answer questions on electronic voting. She opposes electronic voting on security grounds, and she is very involved in the debates over big data.

  • September 27, 2017 at 6pm – 9pm
  • Melbourne Multicultural Hub
    506 Elizabeth St
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Google map and directions
  • 4 people are going
  • Julia Thornton


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