Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Character Assassination

UKIP candidate Alex Wood claims character assassination by hackers of his FaceBook page. He was subsequently suspended from the party. He has reported the incident to the police and still intends to stand in the imminent council elections. (More here from the BBC.)
Worshipping or vilifying people has long been part of British politics and democracy but it does little to illuminate the issues and policies. Perhaps it's built into our base instincts but Interactive Democracy provides an opportunity to limit its corrosive effects by concentrating on issues, offering people the opportunity to write counter arguments and counter proposals and deploying sanctions against those that abuse others or present lies as evidence supporting their view. This can be achieved on the ID web site because individual voters are identified through the electoral roll yet can remain anonymous to other users. ID would also employ more stringent defences than FaceBook, based on those developed for Internet banking.
It is my view that sanctions against lies in public life would be a clarifying system for any form of democracy and I propose a format similar to the Advertising Standards Authority, where complaints trigger an investigation.

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