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High Level Policy Dialogue - Online disinformation ahead of the European Parliament elections: towards societal resilience

Dates:
  • Mon 11 Feb 2019 09.00 - 18.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-02-11 9:00 2019-02-11 18:00 Europe/Paris High Level Policy Dialogue - Online disinformation ahead of the European Parliament elections: towards societal resilience

Few would disagree that fake news, the most visible part of the war of disinformation, represents a real and present threat for our societies. The debate on disinformation encompasses a spectrum of information types: from low-risk forms of click bait to the intentional pursuit of corrosion of trust in our democracies. The latter sometimes with the use of techniques that are extremely sophisticated and based on well-orchestrated plans by foreign states or domestic groups. Information warfare requires capabilities from States that are both adequate and proportionate.

Luckily the evidence we have so far, from research carried out by the Oxford Reuters group, is that the direct impact on political decision making is not alarming. Until now its effect seems to be limited mostly to groups of “believers” seeking to reinforce their own opinions and prejudices. But accusations of fake news are frequently hurled indiscriminately, as different sides try to impose their own news agenda. And, paradoxically, the more fake news is discussed, the greater societal problem it is felt to be. This undermines trust in all media and instils the idea that it is impossible to know what is true and what is not.

It is this distrust that is especially detrimental to the fundamental role of media as a pillar under our democratic societies. Distrust muzzles media in their role as watchdog thereby severely challenging their position to provide for the essential democratic checks and balances. The societal distrust is furthered by so-called "deep fakes", a development made possible by artificial intelligence whereby audio-visual content is manipulated in such a way as to make it impossible to recognise true from false.

These challenges are especially prominent ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections. If we believe that the informed citizen is the underpinning of democracy, then this is an issue that requires action – but what action?

Organised by the School of Transnational Governance in collaboration with the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, this High Level Policy Dialogue on Disinformation ahead of the European Parliament elections will take the fundamental rights perspective and will focus on the strengthening of societal resilience. The event will bring together key experts from the academic and policy fields with deep knowledge of these issues to discuss fact checking, media- and information literacy, media pluralism and a strong role of academic institutes as independent agents to foster well-balanced multi-dimensional approaches.

Attendance at the event is by invitation only and takes place under Chatham House rules.

Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

Few would disagree that fake news, the most visible part of the war of disinformation, represents a real and present threat for our societies. The debate on disinformation encompasses a spectrum of information types: from low-risk forms of click bait to the intentional pursuit of corrosion of trust in our democracies. The latter sometimes with the use of techniques that are extremely sophisticated and based on well-orchestrated plans by foreign states or domestic groups. Information warfare requires capabilities from States that are both adequate and proportionate.

Luckily the evidence we have so far, from research carried out by the Oxford Reuters group, is that the direct impact on political decision making is not alarming. Until now its effect seems to be limited mostly to groups of “believers” seeking to reinforce their own opinions and prejudices. But accusations of fake news are frequently hurled indiscriminately, as different sides try to impose their own news agenda. And, paradoxically, the more fake news is discussed, the greater societal problem it is felt to be. This undermines trust in all media and instils the idea that it is impossible to know what is true and what is not.

It is this distrust that is especially detrimental to the fundamental role of media as a pillar under our democratic societies. Distrust muzzles media in their role as watchdog thereby severely challenging their position to provide for the essential democratic checks and balances. The societal distrust is furthered by so-called "deep fakes", a development made possible by artificial intelligence whereby audio-visual content is manipulated in such a way as to make it impossible to recognise true from false.

These challenges are especially prominent ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections. If we believe that the informed citizen is the underpinning of democracy, then this is an issue that requires action – but what action?

Organised by the School of Transnational Governance in collaboration with the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, this High Level Policy Dialogue on Disinformation ahead of the European Parliament elections will take the fundamental rights perspective and will focus on the strengthening of societal resilience. The event will bring together key experts from the academic and policy fields with deep knowledge of these issues to discuss fact checking, media- and information literacy, media pluralism and a strong role of academic institutes as independent agents to foster well-balanced multi-dimensional approaches.

Attendance at the event is by invitation only and takes place under Chatham House rules.


Location:
Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
School of Transnational Governance

Type:
Special event

Contact:
Fiona Wong (EUI) - Send a mail
 
 

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Page last updated on 18 August 2017