Social media and digital tools have changed how political campaigns are organized and run. This is particularly relevant in two areas:

  • Political messages can be targeted toward individuals far more effectively than ever before and the potential to reach large voter masses is huge.
  • The digital tools are global and easily accessible, which makes it possible for foreign actors to influence voters.

Elections, technology, and political influencing

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In this policy brief, the Norwegian Board of Technology explains how methods and technology developed in the digital advertising industry are now used at large scale in political marketing, and suggests developing a code of conduct for digital election campaigns.

Summary

  • Political advertisement is illegal on Norwegian television but allowed online and in social media.
  • Political campaigning has gone from aiming at wide target audiences to personalized influence through social media.
  • In recent years, third-party actors have used these tools to influence voters by spreading misinformation and fake news.
  • Several countries are now mobilizing to stop voters from being manipulated ahead of elections.

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