Year: 2023
Democracy and civil society

Polish Parliamentary Elections: Assessing Online Risks

Democracy at risk online - we analyse threats to the integrity of the 2023 Polish Parliamentary Elections.
Opinion polls paint a picture of fierce competition between the current parliamentary majority and the center-left opposition, each vying for the reins of power. Moreover, substantial changes to the electoral code and a committee to probe Russian influence have been met with scrutiny, raising questions about impartiality, while election rigging allegations adds to the complexity. The spotlight also shines on a referendum planned for election day, focusing on asylum-seekers.

Online threats and disinformation campaigns are looming threats, endangering the election's integrity. Hate speech targeting marginalised groups and toxic narratives related to refugees from Ukraine persist. Disinformation about inflation, economic conditions, and EU policies continues to spread, stirring resentment.

Moreover, the lack of control over online electoral content raises concerns. With limited oversight and transparency, the door is wide open for a multitude of actors, whether individuals or entities, to engage in electoral campaigning - without accountability.
As we approach this pivotal moment in Poland's political landscape, it's essential to stay informed, critically evaluate information, and engage in meaningful discussions to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process. 


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