On Tuesday 29 November, the Fighting Misinformation Summit brought together those working to tackle mis- and disinformation from across European governments, nonprofits, technology companies, and news organisations.
The day started with group discussions introduced by points of view from speakers. Participants talked about restoring trust in media sources, applying insights from psychology, quantifying the effectiveness of disinformation interventions and the role of media literacy in schools, among others. The afternoon plenary was broadcast live to hundreds of virtual attendees.
Asked by Google’s Annette Kroeber-Riel (VP, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Europe) how governments, civil society and tech companies can come together to quell disinformation, Alex Stubb pointed to the need for rules. “It is important to create rules so technology can work for the common good.” Referring to the debate about social media platforms and free speech, Stubb said: “With free speech comes responsibility…it is impossible to have civilised public discourse based on lies.”
The plenary also featured flash talks and key note speeches, including a video message by European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová. Summit participants also met representatives of grassroots projects like School With Class, a Polish educational NGO working on projects in the media literacy space across Central and Eastern Europe; SQUARE, an NGO working with young people from deprived areas of Paris; and Public Libraries 2030, who are developing search skills via European libraries.
The EUI School of Transnational Governance hosts two flagship programmes on online disinformation.
The European Digital Media Observatory, funded by the European Commission, brings together fact-checkers, media literacy experts, and academic researchers to understand and analyse disinformation, in collaboration with media organisations, online platforms and media literacy practitioners.
The European Media and Information Fund in partnership with the Gulbenkian Foundation provides grants to projects aimed at countering disinformation across Europe. Google is the inaugural donor of EMIF.