Keynote 02 and YouthDIG Messages 2021

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30 June 2021 | 10:00-10:30 | Studio Bruges, streamed to all locations | Video recording | Transcript
Consolidated programme 2021 overview / Day 2


Presentation of YouthDIG-Messages


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>> ATISH DABHOLKAR: Hello. Good morning! A warm welcome from EuroDIG!

We’re at Day 2 of EuroDIG 2021. What we saw and heard yesterday, there was a lot going on in all of the studios. It would be greatly to hear from everyone. We’ll start with Bruges and Nadia. Nadia, if you could tell us a bit how yesterday went and what you’re looking forward to today? I hope I can see you in a second with small video.

>> NADIA TJAHJA: Good morning! Yesterday was fantastic! Trying out the new format session, the focus session with larger topics divided by introductions by panelists, followed by breakout sessions going in the nitty gritty and the reporters are explaining what everybody was talking about. It was a really great experience and today we’re looking forward to look at session 3, New European proposals – NIS2 and cybersecurity agenda – FS 03 2021.

>> ATISH DABHOLKAR: Let’s go to Belgrade. How is life there this morning.

>> BELGRADE STUDIO: Very good! It is not too hot outside.

>> ELISABETH SCHAUERMANN: We hope to get Trieste for a quick word or Thomas and my –

>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: We can wave to ourselves.

>> ELISABETH SCHAUERMANN: Yes! Now we can see you, Marco! How is it going?

>> TRIESTE STUDIO: Good, good, good fine! It is very warm in Trieste today! 29º in.

>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: It is raining with 5º in here! More or less.

>> TRIESTE STUDIO: A good reason to come next year.

>> ELISABETH SCHAUERMANN: We look forward!


>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you! Good to see we’re connected.

Now we have another very interesting day ahead of us. Like yesterday, we have some keynote speeches that should kick start the discussion that will then be followed in a number of sessions during the day.

One track, if you allow me to call it a track, it is about media, public discussion, public sphere and whatever goes with it, the number of workshops in the morning, a session in the afternoon and we have a keynote speech that should kick start this discussion and we’re very happy to introduce the Director-General of France and president of the European Broadcasting Union Delphine Ernotte.

We are gone. Now she needs to come. Thank you.

>> DELPHINE ERNOTTE: Dear friends, dear colleagues, it is a great pleasure to be at EuroDIG. Challenges and opportunities for media have been on the agenda of this multistakeholder dialogue from the beginning, and the European Broadcasting Union has been an active partner since 2008. Just for the record, we’re an association of public service media, and we’re presenting 114 broadcasters in Europe and associated with Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. Like you all, I would have liked to be in beautiful Trieste with face-to-face meetings for this gathering of so many different stakeholders which has essential feature dialogue and networking.

In some countries governments have tried to view the crisis as a way to weaken the role of independent media and to restrict the freedom speech the pandemic has been a breeding ground for disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories with sometimes threatening, even deadly consequences. Generally media has been faced with an increasing amount of hostility and even violence when they just wanted to do their job. For example, reporting from demonstrations. Unfortunately web media is targeted. In this way, citizens are of course looking for trustworthy information. The good news, most people know whom to trust. Our research found that almost half of Europeans have been using social networks for news about the pandemic only 14% and believe them to be the trusted source. The EBU and members are contributing to well-informed citizenship which is important for our democracies. Large volumes of high-quality trust news that’s easy to access and find across all platforms is the best way to combat this information. We also deploy targeted initiatives to fight this information. It takes a click to spread this information but it takes a massive effort to tackle the fallout. Georgia spoke broadcaster, they have a website, anti-fake or others have developed a dedicated COVID-19 platform and others have pro fake, a fact checking platform.

Some examples:

Next to accountability, diversity, universality, independence, excellence, innovation is one of the EBU’s core values. I’m happy to tell you that on July 1st, the EBU is launching an online news sharing service. It provides audiences across Europe with fresh insight into issues of common concern and mutual interests. It will give a European perspective.

With more than 40,000 journalists across Europe public service media represents Europe’s largest newsroom and one of the world’s biggest.

We’re also a driver together with Reporters Without Borders, IFP and others of the Journalist Trust Initiative. It enables media organizations to check, disclose, promote the transparency and identify trustworthy outlets. It helps tackle disinformation and promotes trustworthy journalism.

Now I want to share with you my views on another key issue of trust. Platforms, sometimes the domination. Internet and tech giant revenues are skyrocketing, they are the clear winners from the crisis and subsequent lockdowns. The COVID-19 crisis saw the revenue of the Internet and tech giants shoot up. Subscription revenue went up by 37% and online video advertising by 7%. We all know that online platforms have become important ways to reach audiences.

Audiences use social networks, news, search engines to access news, information, other media content. The platform determined who sees what and when based on the algorithm, content recommendation systems, community standards and terms and conditions. They behave like gatekeepers controlling vast amounts of data, deploying sometimes unfair business practices and imposing the choices on audiences.

Important regulatory, other policy initiatives by the E.U., the Council of Europe, other international organizations are addressing those crucial questions. If we want people to continue to access the trusted news and the rich pervality of use that we as public media offers regulation needs to ensure that already regulated media and press in Europe, it is not taken down or not interfered with. As media, we have already strict E.U., national media lows and professional editorial standards for could be tent and services. We are also very carefully managed by regulators, but despite the platforms regularly remove content and ads and block accounts without any prior warning. Platforms should not be allowed to have such control. The European digital service act should ensure that media organizations remain responsible for the content and services we produce and platform operators should neither be responsible nor liable for our contents.

E.U. must also do more to make online platforms a safer space. Policymakers and media stakeholders agree that platforms simply did not live up to expectations. A case in point is the 2019 Code of Practice on disinformation signed by major online platforms. It recently published paper, they called for stronger commitments from platforms and to review the existing code to that end.

Of course, this review process, it is very important, and it is safe to believe that a reviewed card is the ultimate solution. By asking for more unilateral action against disinformation, they could up the risk for arbitrary, unjustified take downs of content and we don’t want that. Any policy measure fighting disinformation must be professional and protect freedom of speech and pluralism.

We should always look at the recent E.U. acts, the DSA proposed by the European Commission aims to make online platforms more accountable and responsible while the proposal targets firmer action against legal content hosted by platforms the DSA contains many obligation which could help fight disinformation online. Really we should do more. Here with some or relevant obligation to address, three ones, the first one, it is the Know Your Business Customer Principle. It would oblige online platforms to verify the identity of every business users.

The second one, data sharing with researchers and regulators.

The third, cooperation with trusted flaggers such as fast checker, fact checkers, that identify and flag disinformation on platforms. An important piece of the proposal, however, missing in the proposal, I’m referring to arbitrary take downs and interference by platforms of lawful content apps and services by media and publishers. Please remember it is media, publishers that whole editorial responsibility and abide by audiovisual rules with E.U., national standards.

The DSA is an opportunity to establish a clear rule that platforms are not allowed to remove or interfere with contents from media sources. This is not just an academic discussion, because our members regularly encounter arbitrary removables of the content blocking app updates or other kinds of interferences, with the content providing third-party platforms.

Another essential element to tack as well to ensure effective prominence of public value content as recognized beyond the E.U. audiovisual media service directive modern policies with prominence of public value content, it needs to be deadlocked and promoted, some of them are already merging in Germany, France and the UKCIS. More of them are needed.

We are also pleased that the European Commission started a reflection and possible E.U. approach to support prominence regimes as part of the democracy action plan, and please note that this should be done not only by public media but also together with creative, cultural industry, private as well as public.

My friends, I wish you a very productive day full of creative ways in order to secure and improve this very, very crucial, trusted public sphere.

Thank you very much for your attention.

>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you very much, Delphine.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank the EBU as a whole for their continued support, for the continued commitment to use EuroDIG as a platform for discussion and I think it is very appreciated and very necessary that the issues for which the EBU has a core competence are kept on the agenda. We have heard a number of challenges. We have heard a number of concrete proposals that could become solutions at least to some of the challenges or ways to improve the situation. One thing that has probably become clear to many, it is that during this pandemic period, many of the challenges that appeared are not completely new, but the trends have been accelerated, they have been reinforced and so there is an urgency in discussing this and so we are very happy to invite you to discuss this in the sessions, the respective sessions this morning, but also in the afternoon.

Before we do this, let me hand over to Elizabeth because she has been involved in another very important branch of the EuroDIG process.

Thank you.

>> ELISABETH SCHAUERMANN: Thank you, Thomas.


What I’m going to do now is introduce you to the YouthDIG, the youth program of EuroDIG that we conduct each year. I will keep myself brief because the main stars of this keynote are the participants themselves who work very hard and are represented by two of their colleagues in presenting the youth messages.

For those of you who may not know yet what the YouthDIG is, every year we try to bring about 30 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to the respective EuroDIG. When we did this on site also you may have seen a bunch of young people wandering the halls, this is probably the youth people, and also last year, as everybody else, we had to go online which demands a lot of participants and we’re happy to see such a dedicated group that dived into platform questions, data privacy and regulation questions, but also disinformation and digital self-determination, they dug into those topics in a series of online meetings we started in the spring which culminated last weekend in a very intense weekend that we all spent together from morning to night. The main outcomes is the youth messages and I would like to hand it over to the wonderful Nadia Thahja who if a facilitated the process.

>> NADIA TJAHJA: Thank you.

The youth messages are the goals and recommendations from the youth participants to the EuroDIG community and also beyond. They’re built using the integrity process focused on bringing different communication methods and fostering different styles of learning and sharing practices that really bring out collective knowledge of a group. (Audio issue).

>> ELISABETH SCHAUERMANN: With this and without further ado, I would like to hand it over to two out of the group of many who were really engaged into tell you about the youth messages and what they bring to the table this EuroDIG.

Stephanie, I think you’re starting, if I could see you in a minute, that would be good. I’m still seeing Nadia. Yeah. Stephanie? Could you say something? I’m still seeing Nadia. It is great always!

Now we can hear you, over to you, over to Luisa, I’m happy and proud to hear what you have been working on.

>> STEPHANIE TEEUWEN: Thank you. (Audio distortion). Not one generation shares our understanding of and experience with the Internet.

>> LUISA FRANCO MACHADO: Thank you. I don’t know if you can see me now on the screen, if you can confirm?

I hope that’s okay. That being said, I will proceed to my speech.

Well, at the YouthDIG we really believe that the time has come for the youth to be the actor, and not just the subject. During the past weekend young people from all over the world, not just Europe, have gathered to discuss two YouthDIG what are our priorities when it comes to Internet governance, what do we value in the current digital era and that’s what we’re here to answer with Stephanie and also with our YouthDIG colleagues as well. We shall start by saying we have seen especially with COVID and as we have discussed in the previous EuroDIG sessions an increased usage of technology by government bodies and concerns have certainly arising, especially our youth, on how well crucial services have been provided for those that lack connectivity or digital skills. Even though digitization may be what many governments aim for, we recognize especially the need to maintain access to digitalized services in order to leave no one behind. Evidently, the principle of inclusion by design should also be the conducting within government intervention and the digitization of government services. This means that when services are digital, they must be clear, easy to use, and in understandable language and available in different platforms. The digitization in public institutions should be especially fostered by preferably an in-house IT team limiting involvement of private companies as much as possible. Why? Because this would assure that governments can be held account accountable for the services put in practice. The YouthDIG believes technology should not be an end in itself but rather a means to a larger goal. If we focus more specifically, for example, on artificial intelligence, we believe a transparent application of the technology is necessary to ensure that for example there are proper checks and balances from the targeted users as well. Moreover, when applying AI to government decision making, human involvement should be guaranteed when citizens’ lives are impacted significantly. This is also why no dangerous experimentation should be made when fundamental rights are at stake but when it appears in a controlled environment. This goes hand in hand with the new AI regulation from the E.U.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about platforms, this has been a really discussed topic at EuroDIG. At YouthDIG we also believe had is a matter of concern. Several sessions at EuroDIG have explored how platforms have impacted our lives and are still impacting lives and still discussing how European regulation aims to limit their gigantic power. If we think about it, what’s their main source of power? It’s data. This is why we believe that raw data and resources should not be monopolized by some and sensitive data should be prevented from being collected. Technical norms designed by a multistakeholder community, especially, need to assure the interoperability and the portability of data while still taking into conversation the different interests and Internet governance community. Norms and data processing practices should be shared with the general public in a transparent, granular manner. Sensible practices such as data processing and user targeting should be even more carefully assessed and the risks must be mitigated. Ultimately the users need to understand how the information is being used and giving the possibility to take action, including opting out based on the information.

Indeed, IP rights and trade secrets must be respected, but this should never hinder users from understanding what is at stake with data collection and processing. After all, users should be at the center of the Internet and not only – and not be only part of the discussion, having a say in actions taken.

Back to you, Stephanie, to continue our discussion.

>> STEPHANIE TEEUWEN: As mentioned, especially during the pandemic we have seen expediential growth in the use of technology and digitization, not only within government bodies but generally speaking. Algorithm data brokering and predictive analytics led to a decrease in Chief Evangelist and collective agency. Stressing the importance of digital self-determination, it is this reason that young people have digital determination and literacy as a key focal point for our youth message this year. We believe there is no police for bias or discriminatory views based on nationality, social, ethnic origin, religion, belief, race, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation and we should avoid dominance of certain actors over others in order to protect the openness of the Internet, this is vital for self-determination in the digital sphere and therefore national security interests or profits within the private sector should never stand in the way of digital self-determination. In order to empower people to embrace the concept of digital self-determination we believe all should make use of the algorithm impact assessments and transparent, non-discriminatory open procedures should support individuals rights to self-determination. We believe platforms play a big role in this process and the Internet must be for everyone and hence platforms, social media platforms, online platforms should respect the Human Rights of everyone, especially the Rights of marginalized groups.

We believe that platforms as an integral part of the Internet should be available and accessible to everyone while respecting the privacy of the users and assuring autonomy allowing people to preserve their personal identifiable information.

Additionally, digital literacy provides a confident approach for digital self-determination by providing access to digital literacy we can create a digitally comfortable generation that will proactively engage in the digital economy.

Another issue that we as youth believe needs to be addressed that was also just mentioned is the issue of disinformation, not one actor can solve this issue and hence we prefer the multistakeholder approach where youth are given a voice as well. This information should be addressed by a holistic perspective and we all play a part in tackling this issue firstly, we want to stress the fact that governments should never be involved in the process of spreading disinformation or benefit from the spread of disinformation in anyway whatsoever. Instead, governments should take concrete steps in order to prevent distribution of disinformation whilst avoiding taking freedom of speech, especially with marginalized people as we don’t want to negatively impact Chief Evangelist and collective rights to digital self-determination. Additionally, the private sector can play its role by making transparent the algorithms and processes used to tackle this information. In sharing transparent regulations on machine learning that identify this disinformation, when possible the private sector should downgrade content deemed as disinformation while respecting the freedom of speech with users, especially marginalized people.

The media can also play a role in addressing disinformation by creating tools and guidelines on the value of information and how to recognize trustworthy information. When possible and safe, the media should make sources of information visible unless it of course puts people at risk such as journalists. At all times the media should be held accountable when creating, spreading disinformation through independent monitoring action.

Lastly, we believe there is a role for academia in the educational system focused on digital information literacy, fostering critical thinking and there should be a vision of information and freedom of expression in Europe with a focus on contextualizing information locally and linking to the rights of freedom of expression. The educational system can play a role in developing digital literacy programs that may be used both inside and outside of schools. These programs can empower peer educators to help spread digital literacy within their communities, thus impacting people from different age groups.

None of these issues discussed at YouthDIG this past weekend or at EuroDIG these last few days are easy to solve solution was a clear-cut solution. All of these issues are multifaceted impacting various stakeholders in different ways. In order to ensure that such broad issues are addressed for everyone we need an approach in which young people are not only given a voice but are heard as well.

Now back to you, Elizabeth.

>> ELISABETH SCHAUERMANN: Thank you, Stephanie and also thank you, Luisa.

I want to extend those thanks to all of the participants that were so engaged throughout and also the org team which really made a great program and brought you into contact with decision makers and important voices. Keep on being strong youth voices at EuroDIG. I hope to see you all in the upcoming years as well.

Over to you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you. Let me congratulate you, Nadia, the entire team, the young participants for the great work.

It is really amazing to see how engaged you have been, even if the meeting is only virtual because we understand you are running the YouthDIG already, since April, it is quite a long time and had a very intensive weekend. Congratulations to the messages and they will become part of the overall EuroDIG messages as well and I hope to see you next year in physical or hybrid meeting.

Now let me go back to our studios. Nadia, can I speak to you quickly?

>> NADIA TJAHJA: Hello. Yes, I’m here. I don’t know if you can see me yet!

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: I can see you! Wonderful! Nadia, you have another intense day in studio Bruges with two focus sessions, our second focus session will be on the directive, talking about cybersecurity agenda, that’s going to be a very hot topic within the next few months in Europe.

In parallel, we have media workshops going on in studio Belgrade and in studio Trieste we have workshops that are concentrating, focused on access and media literacy and education. Nadia, I wish you a very another intensive day! I heard that the organizers of focus session 3 and 4 are again trying out a new format and to play with it. We’ll reconvene in the evening to see how it worked. I wish the organizers and you all success and fruitful discussions.

Studio Belgrade, can you hear me as well?

>> BELGRADE STUDIO: We can hear you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Studio Belgrade?

>> BELGRADE STUDIO: We can hear you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Good to see you as well! Also for you, I wish you a fruitful day.

>> BELGRADE STUDIO: Thank you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Good luck with this media track that’s going to be convened in your studio. Finally, Trieste one more time.

Trieste, Marco, can you hear me.

>> TRIESTE STUDIO: I can hear you fine.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: I can hear and see you. Always great to reconnect across the continent within a second. Marco, it is not like in a studio but rather going out for a swim. We appreciate very much that you continue in Studio Trieste now with a session about recent studies on accessing educational content. Good luck with this as well we’ll reconnect before the next keynote speech at 2:15 with all studios. I wish you a fantastic day.

>> TRIESTE STUDIO: Fantastic! Thank you very much!