Submission to the Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media
The focus of this submission is to highlight the central role the digital platforms play in facilitating foreign interference in Australian democracy. Whilst preventing the actions of foreign malicious actors is a difficult task, understanding, regulating and re-designing the platforms they use to facilitate such harms is achievable and critical..
Our recommendations to the Select Committee focus on establishing more public oversight of these digital platforms in order to inform considered regulation. Responsible Technology Australia calls for the:
- Transparent understanding of how the digital platforms facilitate foreign interference
- Research into the potential risks, vulnerabilities and harms of foreign interference
- Conduct ongoing and proactive auditing of the algorithms and how they are amplifying specific types of content and specifically assess the potential for the associated advertising platforms (i.e. FB Ad Platform) to be co-opted for manipulation
- Establishment of an independent oversight body which includes mechanisms for enforcement