Referendums, in the aftermath of Brexit and with the rise of populist movements worldwide, are viewed with a renewed scepticism. An acute concern is the promulgation of misinformation and alternative facts, as voters struggle to distinguish the signal from the noise in the face of new media. In Ireland, where referendums to change the constitution are very regularly held, there has been for many years constitutional and legal rules attempting to regulate debate in referendum campaigns. But even with more traditional media, these rules struggle with concepts like balance, impartiality, neutrality, and limiting the influence of government on campaigns. New media – a topic largely unaddressed in Ireland's rules – will exacerbate all of these challenges and add new ones. In this paper, I wish to discuss the difficulties that have emerged with Ireland's rules over time, and how this bodes ill for the prospect of combating future problems.
Our 2020 Annual Conference was scheduled to be held at the University of Wrocław in Poland on July 9-11, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICON·S Executive Committee has decided to postpone our 2020 Conference to 2021. Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 8-10, 2021, in Wrocław, Poland.
Procedural details regarding the organization of the 2021 Conference will follow in the months ahead.Join ICON•S