Would you use social media to have your say in government policy?

ItaliaItalia Posts: 66 Moderator
edited April 16 in Change The World

#ConsoLab is an idea which the youth steering group has developed to help young people have a say in policy through a digital platform, using mostly social meida.  For more information please see this thread here :)

What is #ConsoLab

  • #ConsoLab is a network of young people that volunteer to review policy consultation documents to make them easier to understand by rewording questions for younger people. 
  • Once they publish the youth friendly version of the policy online, they would use social media platforms to get feedback from young people. 
  • You could then give your thoughts on a policy instantly using online polls and questions through Instagram stories (and other similar platforms) and see what others think (which side of the argument they are on).
  • Here are some example screenshots of consultation questions on Instagram.


What do you think of this idea as a way to feed into government policies?

Which social media platforms would you use for this?

If you would like give more feedback outside of this discussion then please fill in the survey here.  Any questions, or if anythings not clear, just ask.  @htwohig2412 is around to help out also :)


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts :)

Italia


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Comments

  • htwohig2412htwohig2412 Posts: 102 The Mix convert
    Like @Italia has said to would be really useful to know a bit more about how you all use social media. Can't wait to hear what you come up with - any feedback is massively appreciated!
    "I know what I have to do now, I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
    Cast Away


  • ItaliaItalia Posts: 66 Moderator
    Hey Everyone,

    There has been some great chat about the ideas!  Its really helpful to hear your thoughts, and everything you share will be anonymously fed into the final product.  I think this is going to be a really exciting final product. 

    I would still like to hear peoples thoughts on the social media idea though, I thought this would be the most popular one, but we seem to not have had much feedback on this one?  I'm interested to know why if you feel like sharing.

    Any questions, just ask :)
    Italia :)
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,107 Fanatical Poster
    No
    Hey, I saw this and wanted to give my opinion if that's okay!

    I probably wouldn't use social media to affect government policy, because I'd feel as though my opinion wouldn't have the same weight as if I emailed a government department or MP or completed an official policy consultation instead.

    I know, for example, the mix and youthnet (the mix) were commissioned by the government to gather the views of young people on the regime of age verification; work that is omitted from the document on the response to the consultation of the policy, which isn't good encouragement that the views of young people matter unless we follow the usual methods of policy consultation.

    Ooh so a question I have is, based on what I've said: is there anything more that young people should know about consolab to encourage them that their response to a policy consultation, given over social media, will be as effective a method of changing policy as responding to a consultation the way is the norm currently?


    I've fought mudcrabs more fearsome than you
    htwohig2412Italia
  • htwohig2412htwohig2412 Posts: 102 The Mix convert
    edited April 26
    Hey @Aidan - Definitely, people's opinions are exactly what we're after so thank you!

    You've hit on a really interesting point that views aired by young people aren't always valued - that's exactly what we're hoping to change through this project. It's also interesting to hear that you feel as though views expressed on social media wouldn't be taken as seriously by the government - that's something we'll be sure to consider.

    We're only in the early stages of designing ConsoLab and so we're open to suggestions. We felt that giving young people feedback (a notification when a policy is made from a consultation you completed) and offering some sort of incentive (vouchers/badges) would help encourage participation and show your views matter. To be honest we were just a little unsure about how that could happen on social, and we maybe need to think a bit more carefully on that. Anything that you think would make you feel as though you were being listened to?

    Cheers!
    "I know what I have to do now, I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
    Cast Away


  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,107 Fanatical Poster
    No
    views expressed on social media wouldn't be taken as seriously by the government

    I think it's because social media is so public and because it isn't 'official' enough, but also because it's used predominantly by younger people; if social media were used in official government decision making processes, younger people could be over-represented and bias decisions to favour the young and not all of society.


    If responses for consultations are taken over different channels, i.e in official consultations and on social media, what is to prevent someone from making their opinion heard more than once? You can't vote in an election in one booth, and then go to another booth and vote for your option again, it wouldn't be fair. Is something in place to stop someone responding to a consultation more than once and skewing the numbers?


    I agree with the idea of feedback through notifications, as it can currently be quite difficult to track policies through the different stages of the decision making process. As much as badges and vouchers and gamification might make the process rewarding, again it can bias a response as certain people may want a certain reward and respond, and others may not and elect not to respond.


    Anything that you think would make you feel as though you were being listened to?


    That's a tough one. I'm not sure there's much that ConoLab itself could do, really it lies with the government to listen to the general public and do more than acknowledge and opinion, but to act on it. 



     

    I've fought mudcrabs more fearsome than you
  • htwohig2412htwohig2412 Posts: 102 The Mix convert
    Aidan:

    it's used predominantly by younger people; if social media were used in official government decision making processes, younger people could be over-represented and bias decisions to favour the young and not all of society.
    You've hit on a great point here - equal representation is mega important. Whatever platform we come up with will (hopefully) be used alongside current methods, so young voices will be heard in addition to, not at the cost of, others.
    Aidan said:
    what is to prevent someone from making their opinion heard more than once? You can't vote in an election in one booth, and then go to another booth and vote for your option again, it wouldn't be fair. Is something in place to stop someone responding to a consultation more than once and skewing the numbers?
    Another great point. In these early stages nothing in place yet, but agree we need to look a little closer at how we can protect integrity of our results - thanks for flagging that. We spoke a lot around some of the concerns you've raised about people giving poor responses to simply get a reward - we definitely have to get the balance right so we're providing good quality data, not just lots of it.

    Aidan said:
    Anything that you think would make you feel as though you were being listened to?

    That's a tough one. I'm not sure there's much that ConoLab itself could do, really it lies with the government to listen to the general public and do more than acknowledge and opinion, but to act on it.

    We're doing some work with some government groups as part of the project so let's hope that puts us in a good position to get young voices heard! Really appreciate all of your feedback @Aidan, thank you! It's so important and useful to us.

    "I know what I have to do now, I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
    Cast Away


  • ItaliaItalia Posts: 66 Moderator
    Heya! 

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts above.  I just wanted to let you know that all your ideas have been taken on board, and you can read about the next steps in @htwohig2412's post.  

    We asked quite a few people over different channels (Instagram, Surveys, Chat, Discussion Boards) what they thought and wanted to share with you overall what young people thought of this idea. 

    Happy reading, and if you have any questions, let us know :) 


    htwohig2412

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