Responding to disinformation in times of COVID-19 and geopolitical conflict – FA 04 Sub 01 2022
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Disinformation can undermine democracy, create division and distort public debate. We have witnessed how disinformation has polarized the debate on the pandemic and on the measures to deal with it, how the ‘infodemic’ has even been a driver of the crisis. Polarization has sometimes led to online harassment and physical aggression against journalists and politicians. In geopolitical conflicts disinformation has long been used to influence public opinion and policy making and in the war against Ukraine we have experienced that information can be weaponized. In crisis situations there is a tendency to “exceptionally” interfere with human rights and media freedom. Crises have been used as a pretext by states to put in place exceptional measures sometimes derogating from the European Convention on Human Rights. At the same time, social media are not always assuming the neutral platform role they claim to have. In this session we will discuss what should be and has been done to address these challenges by intergovernmental organizations, governments, civil society, the media and social media.
Council of Europe CoE webpages on:
Relevant Committee of Ministers' and other instruments:
- Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on protecting freedom of expression and information in times of crisis
- Recommendation CM/Rec(1996) 4 on the protection of journalists in situations of conflict and tension
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2020)1 on the human rights impacts of algorithmic systems
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2022)11 on principles for media and communication governance
- Guidance note on best practices of content moderation
Reports and information documents:
- EP Resolution Foreign interference in all democratic processes in the European Union
- Journalism in situations of conflict and aggression ndash; principles extracted from the relevant Council of Europe and other international standards
- Secretary General's Toolkit on the impact of the sanitary crisis on freedom of expression and media freedom (July 2020)
- A study on the impact of Covid-19 and ensuing measures on freedom of expression in Council of Europe member states (October 2020)
- Public Service Media and News
- European news project ‘A European Perspective’
- EBU Members support Ukrainian Public Service Media
- EBU News Report: What’s Next? Public Service Journalism in the Age of Distraction, Opinion and Information Abundance
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- Nicola Frank, EBU
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- Giacomo Mazzone
- Giovanni De Gregorio
- Narine Khachatryan
- Rodica Ciochina
- Luc Steinberg
- Nicola Frank
- Prof. Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, Leibniz Institut for Media Research, Hamburg / University of Innsbruck, Austria
Governing Information Conflicts: private and public approaches to disinformation during War (online, PowerPoint)
- Rachel Pollack, Associate Programme Specialist, Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, UNESCO
The pandemic and the infodemic (on site, PowerPoint)
- Giacomo Mazzone, Member of the EDMO Advisory Board
Fact-checking during the war (on site, PowerPoint)
- Eric Scherer, Chair of EBU News Committee, France Télévisions
Public Service Media combatting disinformation in times of crisis (on site)
- Urska Umek, Head of the Media Unit, Media and Internet Governance Division, Council of Europe
The Human Rights perspective (online)
- Viola von Cramon MEP, shadow rapporteur on ‘Foreign interference in all democratic processes in the EU’ (tbc)
The European Parliament’s approach
- Prabhat Agarwal, Head of Unit Digital Services and Platforms at DG CONNECT, European Commission (tbc)
The Digital Services Act’s obligation for trusted flaggers
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