Democracy, Vilification, and Automated Regulation

Dr Anjalee de Silva
Dr Anjalee de Silva

This project seeks to explore the viability and desirability of automated decision-making as part of a counter-speech approach to responding to vilifying speech, particularly in the online regulatory context. Specifically, it considers whether automated decision-making has the potential to identify and respond to vilifying speech in the online context in ways that mitigate the negative impacts of such speech on target group members’ democratic participation or that otherwise increase targets group members’ democratic participation. It also seeks to consider whether, conversely, automated decision-making in speech regulation in the online context has the potential to impede, through inequitable, inconsistent, or unaccountable administration, the democratic participation of particular target group members, speakers, or audiences. The project represents important lines of enquiry across various sub-disciplines of law, the social and political sciences, and media, communications, and technology. It also has broader implications in relation to the potential or otherwise of automated systems in responding to systemically harmful speech while adequately protecting relevant free speech interests, including in the increasingly important context of democracy and disinformation.


  • Professor Andrew Kenyon
  • Professor Christine Parker
  • Professor Andrew Roberts

Funding (2020)

ARC Centre of Excellence Automated Decision-Making and Society