Citizenship & Civic Engagement Committee: mySociety’s written evidence

In June this year, a Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement was appointed. Submissions of written evidence were invited, and of course, this being very much our area, we felt the need to contribute.

Our written evidence is a fairly quick readpdf. Nonetheless we hope that it gets the essential points across, drawing on our experience in what works and what doesn’t in technology for civic engagement.

You can view all the submissions the inquiry received on the Parliament website. The committee will report their findings by the end of March next year.

Image: Daniel Funes Fuentes (Unsplash)





  1. No one takes into account that many people do not use or have any interest in social media. I know that ITV have started to link various items to this Facebook thing, I have asked them to stop.

    I think all these facebook and twit things may be a passing phase.
    There are a number of people who just don’t want them either because they have security concerns or quite simply they don’t want them.
    For the media to just say follow us on twit or like us one face is simplifying a complex issue.

    • I completely agree with you. How on earth do twitter and facebook etc get any voice on what ordinary people say or think – it’s just wallies who use these sites – nowt better to do.

      • I agree with the sentiment that the ‘just follow us on twitter’ pattern is a bad one.

        “it’s just wallies who use these sites” – that’s a lot of wallies! At the most recent count, Facebook had 1.7 billion users.

        “nowt better to do”

        Unusually I’m going to stick up for Facebook on this one – there’s an *enormous* amount of community activity that happens through Facebook. Activists arrange protests, community groups organise meetings, parents meet up for school events.

        These people don’t *do* Facebook, they *do* life, and they just happen to use Facebook as their tool for doing so.

  2. Basically what we have in 2017 is “soundbite” Britain, hardly an effective means of engaging with the wider public, a good percentage of whom are over 50. Add an inability by many younger to speak or write coherently due to a State education system now tailored down towards the needs of the least able rather than the most aspiring, result: a malleable, easily-persuaded populace.

    • Just as the Boer War exposed the poor physiological state of the bottom 50% of the UK’s population, facebook (& in the USA the election of Donald Trump) exposes the poor political state of much of the UK’s population. Then there are the many who don’t even reach the low standard of facebook & twitter.

      Just as war can’t be won if only a small elite is capable of fighting, abuse of power can’t be held in check if only a small elite is capable of thinking critically about society.

  3. People will not be interactive with with authorities whilst they are considered alien to the public. There is a definite them and us situation which needs to be reviewed