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Digital Campaign Threats: Party Responses in an Age of Disinformation

January 30, 2020 at 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Location:A602 Loeb Building

The Bell Chair in Canadian Parliamentary Democracy presents:

Digital Campaign Threats: Party Responses in an Age of Disinformation
Dr. Anna Esselment
Associate Professor, University of Waterloo

Threats to parties, leaders, and candidates via digital platforms are on the rise throughout the globe.  Disinformation about leaders and parties have been spread through bots on Twitter and Facebook, and they can take the shape of news articles, #hashtags that trend, or altered videos. The systems, networks, software and data that parties and electoral agencies use to conduct elections have also been compromised by illegal acts that undermine the integrity of the electoral process. How have political parties themselves responded to these threats?  Have they been effective?  This talk will offer some initial insights into ways in which party organizations and their campaign teams are grappling with a new electoral environmental fraught with cyber risks.

Dr. Anna Esselment is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on political parties, campaigns and elections, political marketing, and Canadian institution. She has recently published Permanent Campaigning in Canada with co-editors Alex Marland and Thierry Giasson.