Technology is at center of the 2020 election. Misinformation, polarization, and extremism are spreading across social media platforms and undermining the civic process. With our democracy at stake, we must identify how platforms enable these threats, and how we as users can gain control back from the system. Once we understand how we got here, we can move forward with specific, actionable, and meaningful steps to reclaim technology for the future.
“Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3rd.” This misleading and inflammatory tweet from President Trump, unfortunately, is only one of millions of posts circulating on social media which contains false information about the electoral process, a system integral to American democracy. How will Twitter and Facebook, two tech giants, avoid a repeat of their past failures and fight online misinformation at this critical junction for the American people?
Millions of Americans with disabilities are excluded from voting and participating in our presidential elections. For example, this year’s televised presidential and vice-presidential debates were inaccessible to viewers with hearing loss. Despite voter equality legislation and more accessible polling options, voter turnout among registered voters with disabilities has remained low in many states. We need to enforce more effective voter legislation and rethink how campaigns and television programs can become more accessible.
With the 2020 election approaching, misinformation continues to flood social media,
threatening the integrity of our democracy. We, the HTR board, call on tech companies to rethink their platforms’ structures and assume responsibility for facilitating harm to our democracy.
The 2020 US election is only a few days away, and like most things in life, it is being drastically affected by developments in technology. Recent events have deterred some from trusting technology to preserve our right to vote. However, several startups are on a mission to innovate the ways citizens share their voice without compromising democracy. Can they get out the vote without rocking the boat?