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Criminal fraud or electoral disinformation
5 October @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Jeremy Horder (LSE)
Deliberate mischaracterisation of political opponents and their policies has always been a part of politics. However, lying, dishonesty, and distortion of the facts remain morally wrong and have the potential to obstruct important political interests. For example, a false or misleading claim publicised about an election candidate may lead that candidate to lose an election that they might otherwise have won. So, does-and should-the law seek to provide protection from the risk of this happening, by directly prohibiting the making of false or misleading political claims, or by obliging internet platforms to censor such content? Jeremy Horder argues that, in the interests of protecting freedom of speech, false or misleading claims (disinformation) involving political viewpoint content should be tolerated, not only by the criminal law but also by the internet platforms which host political content. By contrast, in the interests of preserving the integrity of democratic electoral processes, disinformation involving electoral participation information should be prohibited by the criminal law and censored by internet platforms.