Talk:Internet in the “post-truth” era? – Pl 02 2017

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Material and points of relevance to the “post-truth era” Plenary 2

SEEDIG2016 key messages (http://www.seedig.net/seedig-2016-messages/ ) that can be relevant for the “post-truth era” plenary as well:

  • Improve multi-stakeholder Internet Governance process by making more voices heard
  • Legitimacy of stakeholders in Internet Governance: keep the process open and inclusive
  • Deployment of Internet infrastructure is insufficient without media literacy education
  • Internet access solely via mobile technologies does not provide complete access to the breadth of Internet / information
  • Accountability of all players is a precondition of any multi-stakeholder approach
  • Governments are expected to play a vital role, including in protecting human rights
  • Freedom of expression in every sense should be protected online
  • Access to information will help ensure equality online

SEEDIG 2016 registered participants: http://www.seedig.net/crf_submissions/

EuroDIG 2016 messages: https://www.eurodig.org/fileadmin/user_upload/eurodig_Brussels/Messages_from_Brussels.pdf

EuroDIG 2016 list of participants: ?

[Irina Drexler, PhD – Member of the Pool of European Youth Researchers of the EU-CoE Youth Partnership]

Internet in the post-truth and fake news era – A framework for analysis and solutions

There are essentially three dimensions of the fake news and post-truth problem:

1. Supply: (a) Those who supply fake news and post truth for political or economic benefits. (b) Those algorithms perhaps inadvertantly create fake news and even post-truth.

2. Demand: (1) Those either because of cognitive limitations or because of the "pole" they belong in a polarized society who are willing to receive post-truth and fake news on internet. (2) Those inadvertantly fall into a "filter bubble."

3. Technology: Inadvertantly or knowingly biased algorithms,lack of their accountability due to opaqueness and complexity.

Some of these have always been around, however,internet and AI certainly exacarbate the problem.

In the recent RightsCon meeting in Brussels there were several sessions on this problem. I was a speaker in one and emphasized the "Demand" dimension which is often neglected.

If time permits before the deadline, I'll give the references.

[Professor Osman Coşkunoğlu, PhD – Former Member of the Turkish Parliament and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe]

Organizing Plenary 2 – step by step

The Secretariat and Subject Matter Experts (SME) discussed potential Focal Points to shape the proposed sessions for EuroDIG 2017 and to take over the responsibility of the session organization. Menno Ettema, No Hate Speech Movement campaign coordinator on behalf of the Council of Europe and also one of the session proposals submitters, was invited mid-March 2017 to take over this role for Plenary 2. Yrjö Länsipuro has been the SME on this topic and there have been 8 (4) related submissions. A list of submissions was made available to the confirmed Focal Point. These submitters have been the starting point for potential Org Team members, besides other individuals who have expressed interest to help shaping this session, whose details have been uploaded on the dedicated Wiki page for Plenary 2. Irina Drexler was invited to co-manage the process together with the Focal Point, SME and Org Team.

On 22 March 2017 in Strasbourg an informal meeting took place between Menno Ettema, Irina Drexler and Lee Hibbard. The general details of EuroDIG session principles have been discussed, as well as the role of the Moderator, Remote Moderator and Rapporteur(s) in the success of the plenary, the dedicated Wiki page, the panelists, other Internet Governance initiatives and the importance of focusing on more tangible outcomes at the end of the session.

On 24 March 2017 in Strasbourg another informal meeting took place between the two Focal Points, so as to assign roles for initial work. Irina Drexler checked the main related messages from other recent European Internet Governance forums/meetings and the session proposals of other submitters. She then drafted a list of keywords, in line also with the session teaser proposed by Menno Ettema. He contacted the other submitters and explained the organizing process of the session, inviting them to join the Org Team and provide feedback on the keywords proposed. They were also encouraged to share their views on the content and the format of the session itself.

On 27 March 2017 an online meeting was organized by the EuroDIG 2017 Secretariat, with all Focal Points and SMEs. Categories and proposals, deadlines, session principles, session roles, proposed Flash sessions, Wiki pages, venue, programme, pre-events, Focal Points and Org Team roles, as well as other practical matters have been introduced by Sandra Hoferichter from the EuroDIG 2017 Secretariat.

An exchange of e-mails followed between the session proposals’ submitters, Focal Points and SME, based on which Irina Drexler drafted the Session description and Menno Ettema proposed the guiding questions for the debate and the methodological approach for the session, to be discussed during the Skype meeting between the members of the Org Team, Focal Points and SME.

On 28 April 2017 a Skype meeting took place between the Focal Points (Menno Ettema and Irina Drexler), SME (Yrjö Länsipuro) and Org Team (Osman Coskunoglu, Narine Khachatryan, Ansgar Koene), initiated by Menno. The Session Teaser, Keywords and Session description were discussed, as well as the guiding questions and the methodological approach, including the launch of initial short and poignant statements to start the start, and the 'voting' system/tool to use so as to 'take the temperature of the room' with respect to certain opinions. The Format of the session was also drafted (descriptive, normative, prescriptive parts), following Osman Coskunoglu’s proposal. The maximum number of panelists to be invited and the desired professional/expert profiles of the speakers have been established. Different approaches to Internet in the post-truth era have been discussed: social aspect, polarization of the society, the need to understand the business model and how it can make fake news more appealing in 2017 than real news, the role of education, including for parents, teachers and older generations and, in particular, the role of media literacy education and critical thinking, the political use of fake news, cognitive limitations and biases, comfort zone, democratic citizenship initiatives, the role of journalists and fact checking, the importance of counter and alternative narratives that would receive more visibility, algorithms, filter bubble piercing.

After the Skype meeting the Session description was added on the Wiki page by Irina and Further reading have started being collected and circulated via e-mail between the members of the Org Team, or uploaded directly by the Yrjö, Osman and Irina.

At the beginning of May, Sandra from the EuroDIG 2017 Secretariat informed the two Focal Points and the SME that the Estonian Foreign Minister would like to participate in Plenary 2 and that there might be the possibility that he could also participate as a panelist.

On 11 May 2017 a new informal meeting took place in Strasbourg between Menno, Irina and Lee, to further discuss potential speakers/panelists and Moderator. Several expressions of interest to join the Org Team have also been received from Rachel Pollack, Xianhong Xu, Daniel Waugh and Giacomo Mazzone.

Following a call from the EuroDIG 2017 Secretariat for Remote Moderators, Alessandra Coppola signed up for this role for Plenary 2. In the meantime, the Org Team continued to suggest potential panelists suitable for Plenary 2.

On 29 May 2017, a Skype meeting was initiated by Menno Ettema, with the participation of the two Focal Points and the Subject Matter Expert. The main topic of the meeting was the confirmation of panelists, the flow of the plenary programme and other technical details. The Moderator role was assigned to Menno, while Yrjö and Irina offered to act as Rapporteurs. A list of topics for the starting agreed-upon statements was discussed. The Statements have been drafted by Menno.

After the meeting, technical details received from the Secretariat have been shared by the Focal Points with the Org Team, regarding the venue, welcome cocktail, registration, badges, rooms assigned and briefing meeting times. The conversation continued by e-mail until the beginning of June, between the two Focal Points, between Focal Points and Subject Matter Expert, and between Focal Points, SME and Org Team, while also communicating with the Secretariat as well.

[Irina Drexler, PhD]