Information disorders: Towards digital citizenship

13 Nov 2018 16:45h - 18:15h

Event report

[Read more session reports and live updates from the 13th Internet Governance Forum]

The essential issue is to understand the mapping of the information disorder. The session tried to identify new opportunities and new initiatives in this digital area. However, the purpose included discussion of co-regulation perspectives and balance of policy actions.

The session was co-moderated by Mr Lucien Castex and Ms Divina Frau-Meigs. They started by addressing the meaning of information disorders. Frau-Meigs mentioned that we need to have co-regulation done by the public and private sectors. She noted the importance of pushing the discussion towards solutions, towards how we may find solutions, and what kind of solutions can come from the public and private sectors.

Mr Nelson Rasmus noted the importance of the multistakeholder approach and collaboration. He said that the same technologies that have enabled propaganda and disinformation have also enabled MeToo, for example, to fluorish in many different countries. He introduced the idea of thinking about the empowerment of societies and renewing robust institutions to allow for citizens to make good use of the freedom of expression on the Internet.

Moreover, Rasmus emphasised the idea of multi-stakeholder collaborative responses based on self-power, rather than on direct intervention. Finally, he proposed a focus on progress through assessments, greater access to data, and research by public authorities. He mentioned also independent researchers as a third parties in tackling the disinformation issue.

Ms Paula Forteza, French Parliament, Western European and Others Group (WEOG), started by outlining the fake news context in France. She explained how the French government is dealing with this challenge and the tools used. She noted the case of fake news during the last presidential election in Brazil. According to her, we need more effort directed towards increasing flexibility and transparency in the regulation of fake news. Moreover, she considered the access to information issue and noted that updates of legal frameworks must occur at the same speed as technology advances. In concluding, Forteza mentioned the efforts of the GDPR in protecting personal data in Europe.

Mr Denis Teyssou, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG), started by explaining disorders of information. He gave the example of fake news on migration issues across Europe. According to him, we should provide sufficient digital tools to share real news with European citizens. He mentioned face-to-face technologies incorporating artificial intelligence (AI). As well, he pointed to sources of news for the young people and underlined the 2020 Project called ENVID, European project about verification of videos and social networks. Finally, he stressed the importance of digital literacy for young people.

Mr Jean Baptiste, of The Quants European Research, said that fake news is not going to disappear. He mentioned the importance of respecting privacy to prevent fake news. Over-personalisation results in drama in the news of current situations. The challenge lies in discovering information and in multiplying the sources of information.

He added that one option to fight fake news is to address the problem of monopolies and dominance of information. According to him, The Quants has tried to develop a search engine that brings forward values that encourage transparency and trust.

Mr Emmanuel Adjovi, Intergovernmental Organisation, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), said that fake news is a global and national challenge. He noted that it is important to educate the population, to teach children how to handle information. Moreover, the media must have the opportunity to check the news. 

Mr Villano Qiriazi, Intergovernmental Organisation, said that we must protect people from poor circumstances and negative consequences of disinformation. He emphasised the concept of digital citizen education, which the organisation will propose to the citizens in Europe. The purpose of this education is to promote responsible and active citizenship throughout European countries. Furthermore, Qiriazi mentioned the problem of trust and feeding AI by sharing and creating information.

The moderator concluded the session by asking everyone to stand against fake news and hate speech and to improve the educational system for a better future.


By Gilles D. Bana