Digital Election Observation: Regulatory Challenges around Legal Online Content

Ben Wagner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Between public debates about ‘hacking’ elections, so-called ‘fake news’ and online disinformation campaigns, it has become hard to imagine what free and fair elections in a digital environment could look like. This challenge is particularly pronounced for election observers who monitor free and fair elections. How should election observers fulfil this task when reliable data in online media campaigns are often not even available to media regulators? The following article provides a brief overview of existing challenges around online content regulation and how these apply to elections and election observation. It then considers where resources for digital electoral observation exist and how most effectively to build on these before, in conclusion, discussing next steps and potential opportunities to develop digital election observation further.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-744
Number of pages6
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • digital campaigning
  • election observation
  • online content
  • regulation


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