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Social media giants need to be held to account to ensure free and fair elections, Professor Robert Patman warns.
Speaking on Global Insight, the international relations specialist said New Zealand could no longer depend on traditional partners such as the United States to defend its interests.
Prof Patman said New Zealand needed to build an alliance of like-minded nation states to robustly defend liberal democratic values and multi-lateral institutions.
Intense pressure should be brought to bear on the likes of Facebook, Prof Patman said.
"You could argue that until groups like Facebook are tackled. . . holding free and fair democratic elections might become increasingly problematic."