Elections in the Digital Age

Editor's Note

With the elections in Pakistan just around the corner, a need to have conversations to understand the role of social media in elections and democracy in the digital age was felt by Digital 50.50. Countries with pre-existing polarisation, a history of violence, and highly partisan media prove to be particularly susceptible to the weaponisation of social media during the election period, as research from different countries has evidenced. The role of Big Tech platforms during elections has come under scrutiny over the years as their community guidelines have often failed to recognise the extent of harmful content faced by marginalised communities in the developing world during election time and the consequences it can have on them. In times like these, platforms need to hold themselves accountable and be transparent regarding their content moderation and take-down policies.
Keeping this in mind, the current edition aims to address the impact that digital technology has on the electoral process by looking into the evolving landscape of election campaigns, voter engagement, and the overall democratic process in the digital era. Contributions also highlight the role in elections of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-driven algorithms.
We urge you to enjoy the words and art of our amazing contributors and dive into an exploration of the theme. As this is the last edition of Digital 50.50 for the year 2023, we are writing to you with as much love as ever but also a heavy heart.  That being said, we will come back very soon.
Maryam Saeed