14 Sep 2020

Election 2020: Academics to study NZ social media use

From Morning Report, 8:47 am on 14 September 2020

The political use of social media by New Zealanders will come under close scrutiny in the leadup to next month's election.

Starting this week and running for a month, two Victoria University researchers will study how Facebook is used to target and interact with voters.

Dr Mona Krewel and Professor Jack Vowles will be joined by a small army of coders, and plan to publish their findings on a weekly basis, hoping to break down the strategies used.

Part of the challenge is to assess if techniques such as data mining or misinformation has intruded onto the campaign trail here as has been identified in some overseas elections and referenda.

Dr Krewel speaks to Corin Dann.