Edilene Lbo Discusses the Relations between Democracy and New Technologies

Insights on Electoral Integrity and Legal Frameworks from a Brazilian Perspective

May 08th, 2024
Snejana Melnic, News from Berlin
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On May 5, 2024, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) was privileged to host Dr Edilene Lôbo, a renowned Brazilian scholar and legal expert, for a compelling discussion centered on the intersections of technology, social media, and democratic processes. Dr Lôbo is known for her profound research in Civil Procedural Law, which focused on New Technologies and Guarantee Institutions.

Born in Taiobeiras-MG, Brazil, Dr Lôbo has an illustrious academic and professional background. She completed her PhD at PUC-Minas and pursued post-doctoral studies at the University of Seville and the Faculty of Law of Vitória. Currently serving as a Guest Professor at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle-Paris 3 University, Dr. Lôbo teaches about Democracy, Political Rights, Elections, and Digital Militias in Latin America. Her work frequently addresses expanding and protecting political participation spaces for black women and other minority groups.

The bilingual event at the ICD provided insights into how digital technologies influence public accountability and the integrity of judicial systems. Dr. Lôbo discussed the challenges Digital Militias pose and artificial intelligence’s role in public administration. Her talk underscored the necessity of safeguarding democratic processes from technology’s manipulative potential.

Dr. Lôbo emphasized the importance of international cooperation in addressing these challenges, suggesting that a collaborative approach can lead to more resilient democratic institutions. She highlighted her participation in various research initiatives, such as the CYBERLEVIATHAN World Network Observatory, which studies the global impacts of digital technologies on democracy.

Dr. Lôbo began by exploring how digital tools can manipulate public opinion and distort electoral outcomes, emphasizing the need for transparency and highlighting the vulnerabilities in electoral systems exposed by digital technologies. She also addressed the necessity of improving communication between voters and politicians, advocating for strategies that ensure clear and understandable political messages and facilitate informed decision-making among voters.

Furthermore, Dr. Lôbo discussed the importance of educating and training politicians on the responsible use of technology. This included covering politicians’ ethical considerations and responsibilities in utilizing digital tools within their campaigns and governance. She addressed the existing and potential legal frameworks governing digital election campaigning, calling for stringent, adaptive regulations that could more effectively respond to the rapidly evolving technological landscape.

An important aspect of Dr. Lôbo’s discussion focused on the legal implications of technology usage. She emphasized the importance of individuals comprehensively understanding how these tools work and taking responsibility for their actions. She also highlighted the need for legal systems to hold accountable and penalize those who misuse technology to manipulate or misinform. This approach underscores the necessity for laws that discourage misuse and provide clear guidelines for the ethical use of digital technologies.

The event ended with a lively question-and-answer session that further engaged the audience and deepened the discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented by digital innovations in democratic contexts. Dr. Lôbo’s visit showcased her expertise and reinforced the significance of international academic exchanges in addressing global challenges at the intersection of technology and democracy. Her insights provided valuable perspectives on preserving democratic integrity in the digital age.


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