|Polarisation and the use of technology in political campaigns and communication|
Digital technology was once heralded as a boon for democracy. However, the contemporary political reality has underscored the ways in which technology can also undermine citizenship, democracy and the international liberal world order. Thriving on new media ecosystems, populist voices in European democracies have established themselves as mainstream political actors. This report offers a comprehensive overview of the relationship between technology, democracy and the polarisation of public discourse. Technology is inherently political, and the ways in which it is designed and used have ongoing implications for participation, deliberation and democracy. Algorithms, automation, big data analytics and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly embedded in everyday life in democratic societies; this report provides an in-depth analysis of the technological affordances that enhance and undermine political decision-making, both now and in the future. To conclude, we formulate principles and policy options for fostering a better relationship between digital technology and public life.