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Loughborough political communication expert appointed to influential digital freedoms committee

Professor of Political Communication Cristian Vaccari has been appointed to the Council of Europe’s new Expert Committee on Freedom of Expression and Digital Technologies.

The Committee of leading experts has been formed to explore the impacts of digital technologies and artificial intelligence on freedom of expression.

Representatives are nominated by the Council and the 47 member states and over their two-year term will prepare guidance and recommendations on how to harness opportunities and address challenges that are vital to our democracies in a digital world.

Professor Vaccari, Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, said: "I am deeply honoured to be included in this group of outstanding international experts and to serve an important institution such as the Council of Europe.

“Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of liberty and good governance, but it is far from secure in the troubled times we live in.

“Digital media have enhanced some aspects of freedom of expression, but they have also contributed to new and unexpected threats to it. To protect and expand freedom of expression in the digital age, we need to rethink existing approaches, but our thinking needs to be grounded in the best scientific evidence.

“Academics have a unique role to play in this process, not only in sharing the knowledge we already have but also in pointing out what we do not know yet and what we need to find it out. I look forward to helping the Committee achieve these ambitious goals.”