Fending off trolls – Journalists in defence of democracy – WS 08 2019
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Date: Thursday, 20 June 2019 (Day 2)
Time: 11:00 - 12:30 (CEST)
Venue: World Forum The Hague, The Netherlands
Sched link: https://sched.co/P0Nw
To secure and strengthen democracy in the digital age, sustainable, high-quality journalism is the first line of defense.
Around the world, democracy is facing new challenges – many of which are exacerbated by new technologies. The 2019 Freedom in the World report, published by Freedom House, found that 2018 was the 13th consecutive year of deteriorating freedoms around the globe. Furthermore, the 2018 Freedom on the Net report from Freedom House finds that “the internet is growing less free around the world, and democracy itself is withering under its influence.”
In fact, the free Internet that we have known is now under a two-front attack. On the one hand, digital authoritarianism is rising. Not only are countries that have always wanted to maintain total control of expression perfecting their grip of what they call their souveign “information space,” but also exporting their approach and methods, along with the necessary technologies, to other, mostly developing countries. This is only compounded by the fact that press freedom, intrinsic to ensuring societies are accountable, transparent, and informed, continues to decline globally. On the other hand, there is a worrying development in what could be called the “free Internet world.” The polite word is “consolidation,” less politically correct words could be concentration, dominant market position, or monopoly de facto. Worrying in themselves, but especially because of the negative phenomena that the business models of the giant platforms have enabled and encouraged: disinformation that sells better than real, investigative reporting, hate speech, and operations that influence politics and elections across frontiers.
These online harms do limit freedom of expression just by themselves. We have examples of journalists, even in Finland – a country that tops global freedom rankings, whom dark forces are trying to intimidate by using tactics of online violence – and sometimes enticing to real-life ones. But even more, when these online harms have grown to the level of threatening the fabric and processes of societies themselves, governments feel obliged to act and start regulating “the Internet.” If that is done in an atmosphere of panic and without defining the exact object of regulation among the many layers of the Internet, much damage can be done.
As a workshop that feeds into Workshop 12 and Plenary 7, WS 8 will focus on the damages that automated systems (like algorithms, trolls, bots, etc.) could provoke within the public debate in digital societies through social media and how this could be addressed by journalists, news media, and institutions in a common effort to make the public debate healthier and less susceptible to disinformation and misinformation. This is especially relevant in time of elections, which are the crucial moment where citizens need fact-based, high-quality information to make informed decisions rather than emotional or misleading approach. It will also highlight the role of the media in strengthening democracy and how new information and communications technologies both help and harm that goal.
An analysis of what happened during the 2019 EU Elections (held just three weeks before EuroDIG 2019) made by a representative of the European Commission, along with analysis of the effectiveness of the counter measures put in place to prevent harmful interferences could be the testbed for the discussion. The same analysis could be also be made for other recent cases, such Ukraine and Finland. The session will seek to highlight how other interferences in democracy, such as cyberattacks against journalists and the very sustainability that threatens public access to high-quality information, can be tackled and better pursued in order to protect the integrity of journalistic work. An example could be the case of the first conviction of harassment against a Finnish journalist who had earned the hatred of trolls by investigating and exposing their major operation.
Last but not least, the workshop could also bring other examples of what news media, journalism support, and media development organisations are doing to reduce these risks, and to discuss how the recent EU Copyright Directive could eventually contribute to creating a better (or worse) environment for resilient and reliable media and journalism, online and offline.
- Taming the Hydra: How to Resist Kremlin’s Information Aggression?
- Chaos and Hate: What Russian Social Network VKontakte Says About Ukrainian Election
- Regulating disinformation with artificial intelligence: The effects of disinformation initiatives on freedom of expression and media pluralism
- Governing Digital Convergence: An Issue Paper on Media Development and Internet Governance
- GFMD's Internet Governance Resource Centre
- Russian hackers are infiltrating European governments ahead of May elections, security firm says (Vice)
- How Rupert Murdoch's media empire of influence remade the world 
- Europe Is Reining In Tech Giants. But Some Say It’s Going Too Far
- Facebook Opens a Command Post to Thwart Election Meddling in Europe
- Junk News during the EU Parliamentary Elections (OII)
- Finland: disproportionate defamation case against journalist (EFJ)
- 2019 World Press Freedom Index (RSF)
- 2019 Freedom in the World Freedom House
- 2018 Freedom on the Net Freedom House
- Michael J. Oghia, Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)
- Nadia Tjahja, Youth Coalition on Internet Governance, Steering Committee Member (WEOG & EEG)
Organising Team (Org Team) List them here as they sign up.
- Nika Bakhsoliani
- Yohko Hatada, EMLS RI (Evolution of Mind Life Society Research Institute)
- Narine Khachatryan, STEM Society
- Charalampos Kyritsis, YouthDIG Organiser
- Giacomo Mazzone, EBU-UER European Broadcasting Union
- Elena Perotti, Executive Director of Media Policy and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA
- Nebojsa Regoje, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bosnia and Herzegovina / MAG IGF Member
- Silvio Mascagna, member of the cabinet of EU Commissioner King – in charge of the security of elections
- Vitaliy Moroz, Internews Ukraine
- Giacomo Mazzone, EBU
- Małgorzata Pęk, Council of Europe
- Max Senges, Google
Leon Willems (Free Press Unlimited)
Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.
- Marco Lotti, Geneva Internet Platform
The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:
- are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
- relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
- are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
- are in (rough) consensus with the audience
Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes
The WS O8 organising team held our first call on 21 March 2019. A summary of that call is available here.
We held our second online meeting on 3 April 2019, and decided to work collaboratively via a Google Doc. Please see that document for notes and more information as well as our mailing list archive for additional information.
We held a call on 14 May 2019 to discuss key participants, the summary of which is available here
- Disinformation is a phenomenon that is evolving quickly, both in quantity and quality. Some solutions from institutions include a rapid alert system to timely flag disinformation and the implementation of voluntary codes of practice for online platforms.
- The interplay between populism and technology has witnessed the exacerbation of extremist and hateful online content. Closer co-operation between online platforms, fact-sharing networks, and independent researchers would help in gaining a comprehensive and analytical understanding of the (big) data behind the phenomenon of disinformation.
- The challenges posed by the spread of misinformation cannot be tackled by one actor alone but require a multistakeholder approach. Fact-checking activities should not rely solely on the users or media outlets, but should be the result of a collaborative effort between media outlets and online platforms.
- The current market model of the digital economy does not favour traditional media outlets which are facing important economic losses while the demand for and the spread of fake content remain high online. It is essential to stress the independence of the media as a benchmark for democracies, as well as fostering fact-based, quality, and ethical journalism. Solutions do not include a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather, locally-oriented responses.
- Despite the fact that misinformation is spreading and represents a challenge, it is not an immutable phenomenon. The importance of media literacy building programmes, the stress on transparency in collaboration among different actors – as well as on the content management decisions, are essential to the health of democracies.
Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/sessions/fending-trolls-journalists-defence-democracy.
Video record and session report
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This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.
>> MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Is it okay if we get started? Okay. So thank you very much for coming to the session. This is workshop 8 and the title is Funding off the trolls‑Journalists in defense and democracy. I am also one of the co‑focal points for the session along with Naddia Tjahja. I want to keep my talking as limited as possible. This is very much a round table type of discussion, which is why we moved down from the stage over to here. And so at any point, if you have questions, feel free to raise your hand throughout the session and please feel free to contribute as much as possible.
So just as an overview, this is very much a session about the threats to our information ecosystem. And specifically how journalists and news media organizations can strengthen it. Just some remarks prepared. Certainly around the world, but especially in Europe, democracy is facing new challenges many exacerbated by new technologies. The 2019 freedom world report found that 2018 was the 13th consecutive year of deteriorating freedoms around the globe while the same organizations freedom of the net report from 2018 stressed that the internet is growing less free around the world and democracy itself is withering under its influence.
In fact, the free internet we have known is under a two‑front attack. On the one hand digital authoritarianism is rising compounded by the fact that press freedom, intrinsic to insuring societies are transparent and informed and continues to decline globally.
On the other hand, market dynamics, dominant market positions and new challenges to the digital economy have become ubiquitous. The business models of large internet platforms have enabled and encouraged among other things this information that sells better than real investigative reporting as well as hate speech and the operations that influence politics and elections across frontiers. There are plenacy 7 which will be focusing on online harms also in the afternoon which, workshop will focus on the broader phenomena as well as damages that automated systems such as algorithms, bots, et cetera can go with the digital debate through social media and how this can be addressed by journalists, news need media and institutions that have basically a working common effort to make the public debate healthier and less susceptible to misinformation.
This is a crucial moment when citizens need fact based high quality information to make informed decisions. And it will also highlight the role of the media and strengthening democracy and how information and communications technologies both help and often times harm that goal.
This session will also seek to highlight how other interferences and democracies and cyber attacks and journalists and the very sustained ability of journalism and news media threatens public access to high quality information and how these can be addressed and tackled and better pursued in order to protect the integrity of journalistic work and democracy itself.
Last but not least, the workshop will bring order examples of what news media journalism support and media development organizations specifically are doing to reduce these risks. So apologies that was a bit longer winded than you might have anticipated.
With that said, it is really my honor to introduce our moderator for today's event. I have the honor to introduce Leon Willems who is the director of Amsterdam base of Free Base Unlimited. Unless you want to say a few more words about yourself, I will hand it over to you.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thank you, Michael. I am Leon. We're still in the morning. So we're thinking about having a very intelligent and awake audience still. Let me introduce the panelists we have so we can get some, you know, expert insights about what is happening in terms of journalism, this information during receipt elections and then we take it from there. Sylvia Mascagna is the cabinet number, European union. We have the project officer on media internet for the council of Europe, a very important institution. Max Senges works for Google. He's working on internet governance on research and development. We have my good friend Vitaliy Moroz that works in Ukraine. Just a warm up, by the way, we're good friends because internews and Free Press limited work we get projects to foster quality fact based journalism and we do that also in eastern Europe.
So just by warming up just after coffee to get the audience view, who of you thinks that journalists have a role in this information? Can I see hands? Who of you does not think journalists does not have this information? Who do you think that journalists are the cause of disinformation? Good. That is what I was looking for. Because we need some discussive views here just to make it not so easy for us. You can tell me who you and are why you think journalists are not a problem?
>> Hello, everyone. I'm Antonio from Italy. At least from what I come in Italy now, I think not only Italy, there's this run for information. I mean, like with click bait titles, it seems like the speed of information is more important than the quality of the information. So most of the time, articles are not so deeply in the truth, but like just to be fast and not to be quality.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thank you very much. And so when all of you seem to say that journalism has a role in disinformation, we have to look also at the issue of quality. And that is a problematic issue because quality is not a category that is legally mended. But let's now go to our panel.
Sylvio, we had elections recently for European parliament. I think that elections are the highlight of disinformation efforts. You can give us an overview of what happened during the recent elections in terms of disinformation from your perspective? Michael, yeah.
>> MICHAEL: First of all, good morning and I would like to thanks organizer for this invitation to contribute to this very timely debate because as you say, the election for the European parliament will end up just three weeks ago or something like that. I think it's the very timing to help this discussion.
I would like maybe to start with a positive note. I would like to refer to the participation rate to the European parliament election that was around likely more than 50%, but let's say 50%. That was the highest participation rate in the last 20 years. So as a matter of curiosity, I found out the participation rate for the previous three elections. It was 42% in 2014. 2009 was the same or less 42. And 45 in 2004. So there was an increase of 8%. If you look at this European level, it's quite a significant increase and I think it is also a clear sign that they care about democracy and about the future of the European union.
Now coming back to the core of this debate or one of the core aspects of this debate, ah, you probably know that ‑‑ if you don't know, you know now ‑‑ we came out last year with a first assessment. So the commission jointly with the European service was published a report is not a conclusive report. It's indeed, the first preliminary assessment because there are two aspects here. First of all, we notice that this information is evolving very quickly. I mean, there is information tactics that are evolving very quickly at a much more sophisticated, much more difficult to attribute and then a map we have with us today represented from Google. I think today the social platform they need to do a bit more or much more to give access to dependent researchers to the data.
So what I will try to illustrate today is really the result of a first preliminary assessment. Can we say indeed, the European parliament election were free from this information? The answer is no. Probably we have not seen I will say high profile leaks as in previous election. It comes to my mind during the last French presidential election, what happened to President Macron. We have not seen something like that. But for sure it's fair to say that the last European parliament election were not free from this information.
The strategic communication task force that is a department ‑‑ I'm sorry to use always this long name but basically it is a department in the extent service that was set up in 2015 to detect to analyze this information. For instance, this information cases that we can attribute to Russian sources seems generally since 2019. We have a detector around 1,000 cases. And if you look at the figures in the same period 2018, these figures have doubled. So 1,000 since 2015 around 450 since January of the same period.
It's a different kind of this information. We see that more and more they pick up real local facts. Sometimes they use a lot these bots and fake accounts. They are activated when you want ‑‑ sorry. When you want to amplify the message or the narrative.
So we are confronted with this evolving tactics and just to give you some very concrete example, there was this information about the fact that for instance, Poland is poor under the communist regime. The president wants to expel some member states from the European union just to give you a couple of examples.
So I still have one minute? But can I take one more?
>> LEON WILLEMS: Yes. Go ahead.
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: We have taken very seriously this problem for a long while now and we have been working for different pillars if, can call this in that sense. So the first one is to get much better to detect and to analyze this information. I refer before to this department in the extent election service and we have set up a rapid alert system in order to be better prepared to respond to this information. And this is a platform, a shared platform between the European union and member states. So member states, all member states have accounted contact points which are part of this rapid alert system.
Then the important cooperation with the platforms. We have ‑‑ I would say we have pushed the platform, the most important platform to Google, Twitter and Facebook and Microsoft just joined this clip to sign on the code apparatus. It is a voluntary approach and I would like to draw some lessons because we have been monitoring your progress on a monthly basis and you were some bit report on a monthly basis since the beginning of the new year. I think we have seen some progress on paid political advertising that for sure all the platform will have it set up on the criteria. They have set up libraries that would be very useful now to understand how much money has been spent for paid political advertising, who is behind political advertising. Probably there is more to do because we have seen some information in the libraries that were not really accurate.
For instance, some Italian engineers were put there advertising while EFD and German was not included. We think there is some work to do. What we see in two aspects and the finish. There is still room to improve. Issues of advertising, this is a much more gray area if I can qualify in this way because we have seen advertising page that maybe are set up on a completely different purpose. Then are slowly transformed in something that can be used as a way to spread this information. You have been working hard on that because a lot of huge number of pages have been cancelled or deleted in the European election. We need and I finish two points more. We need that the platform that are doing that, but they expand it even more the corporation with fact shared networks.
And last but not least as I mentioned, we need the data privacy, the data protection. But you give it better access to independent researchers and fact sharers alike because this is very important.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Yeah. Without making this a discussion about platforms, it is clear that you have a couple of points that Max can address a bit later. Maybe one of the most interesting elections recently was the election in Ukraine for the precedency and we're very happy to have Vitaliy Moroz. You can tell us someone who is dedicated to quality information as a mission? What happened in Ukraine from your perspective and what kind of specific examples can you give of bad information of influence?
>> VITALIY MOROZ: Thank you. Yes, it is a problem. Quality information and the works of journalism in Ukraine is under a threat to date. I will focus my short speed on too many aspects.
First of all, we'll talk Ukraine has always testing ground for this information. So what does this mean for European union? It might be replicated later in the countries of European union.
Secondly, I will focus last elections in Ukraine and we'll focus on the rise of populism and technology in the rise of this populism.
So Ukraine leaves in disorder during the last five years since 2014 with (inaudible) by Russia. But nevertheless, they build more and despite the campaign information. It is the key approach by Russian government regarding Ukraine because this country wants to move back Ukraine to the area of its influence. So it's a main narrative from Russia with this information campaign that Ukraine is a failed state. Institutions doesn't work and Ukraine are, Nazi. They used to call previous government as illegal even though we had dedicated elections in 2014. And Russia will definitely emphasize the use of technologies and proxy media. Proxy media is the media of which might defund it by Russian government, but they might register in Ukraine as officially legitimate media in Ukraine. And they promote ideas of narratives, Russian narratives through different channels. On the eve of elections, my organization into the Ukraine made some research. This research based on analysis of big data and more and more organizations in Ukraine try to analyze big data because we have millions of accounts in different social media networks. But we focused on Russian social network. It is second largest social network in Ukraine. Two years ago, Ukraine and government made a decision to block Russian social networks in Ukraine and it was imperfect because on the one hand, there were violations of digital rise of users. On the other hand, there was a strategic decision how to move from the influence of Russian federation.
So we analyze on the rise 1 million profiles of contact and 10 millions from contact. What is the main conclusion? That Russian ‑‑ the concept of Russian world is flourishing in the social media networks and there was key 3 lessons learned. First of all, there was negative rhetorics on the presidential elections. Some candidates had more positive coverage like pro Russian candidates, but still the negative trend was dominant.
Secondly, u crane was portrayed compared to Russia as a failed state. Ten more times than Russia. And as the social network have a lot of anti‑Semitism and hate speeches and it is very important where western have committed to standards and violates the rules. Russian networks have speeches and there is probably no policy against it. So like we will be focusing more and more analyzing a Facebook, but from my perspective, hate speech is coming to Facebook as well. And probably there is a need to emphasize more to fight back.
My second point about the relate of populism as result of elections and all technology, you might know that Ukraine two months ago elected newly new president. He's comedian with need background in politics. He wasn't like ‑‑ he wasn't a single day in the office. In two months, we have parliamentary elections and his political party has now been formed and according to polls, this political party which has never existed will get at least 50% of votes in new parliament T. means that as the president and as the parliament the have ‑‑ will accumulate huge powers. But what was the main lessons? That the loose change and politics didn't appeal to voters today. The newly elected president used detectives of representation. He didn't meet the press. He didn't participate in debates and he was pushed by Civil Society to participate at least one debate. Instead of going to the conference hall or the big event, he went to the stadium. He had election ‑‑ debates on the stadium and was rather shows than Rational debates. And also the campaign of the new president was like he hired new styles of the mild styles. He was appealing to emotions and not Rational behaviors. His campaign was on (inaudible) and appealing to emotions of voters who were quite disappointed. It means that a list in Ukraine as the populism enforced by social media and by technologies play significant role in outcomes of elections. Still we have democratic government, but this list might be very important for European union. Thank you.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Okay. So that is an interesting added element. Before we go into remedies, maybe we need another view on the scope of the problem. So Sylvio said there's more disinformation. It is more intelligent. It's moving. It has local appearance and we need to better detect it and try to get something. Vitaliy is saying one of the problems we see actually is social media's fear seems to increase the ability for hate speech, which is very problematic in Ukraine. And we see the rise of populism that is steps away from traditional ways of running elections, running from Rational debate. Max, you have been working at Google since when?
>> MAX SENGES: 2009.
>> LEON WILLEMS: And in 2009, I guess it was super cool to be part of Google, but now a days, suddenly some politicians seem to think that Google is the boogie man in many of these documents. But I was actually reading this interesting report that was produced, which I encourage all of to you dig into to join communication by the European Commission. I was reading you were taking out staggering numbers of videos from YouTube. So from our perspective, the elections, how did you go about it? What do you research? You have some questions that were asked by Sylvio on what Google could do more or better in terms of transparency and focus. What is your perspective?
>> SYLVIO MASCAGNA: Thank you so much. You know, I can tell you it is still pretty cool to work at Google. I am happy to.
>> MAX SENGES: Thank you so much. I know I can tell you it is still pretty cool to work at Google. I think there are enormous differences between the platforms because frankly, it is very different purposes they serve. And Google has always been participating in the internet governance multi‑stakeholder forum. They have the distinct quality of being deliberative. We're here to talk about problems and find solutions and I am here to share of some of what we are doing and listen to what is being suggested.
Some of you might know, I am leading research and development partnerships in this space. I would love to hear when you say you want more access to the data to understand the problem better because that's exactly one of the constructive and viable ways that we can work closer together. I think the first important piece to mention from our perspective is that we have been in this together in the good times and now in the bad times as well.
If you think back 10 years ago, it was democratizing and everybody I guess here in the room thought that YouTube is a great thing. Now we're seeing two things. We're seeing weaponized information and we're seeing a lot of spam. Those are two very hard problems that we can solve together, but we cannot solve them by saying oh, look, the big platforms are spying everything. It is user generated content. It is up use of the platform. I think that should very important to say.
Before I share some of the things we are doing I think in the spirit of proposing some other lines of thinking here, we also have to think about innovation and democracy. Just listening to Greg Newbook by Larry Diamond attacking both the situation as well as some solutions. And rank choice voting is a really interesting and viable because it is not a revolutionary new idea. It is an evolution. It is iteration from how we are voting today. And the second question I would like to put on a fundamental basis is whether journalism has the fourth power in the state should really be such a market and capitalism driven environment as it is today.
Coming from Germany, I can only say in the five years that we lived in the United States, we were watching (inaudible) show every night because of the quality of the information whether BBC or the German public broadcasters is good. Maybe there is something to be learned about that.
But let me come to the point of what we do and how we're working actually with a number of partners because we can't do this alone against especially the weaponized information and also spam. There is three areas. One about product, one about combating the malicious actors and one supporting things on that side.
On the product side when it comes to elections in particular, we provide special sites and work with partners to allow people to find the nearest voting location and search. I work with partners to allow their system to give good answers when you ask what are the European elections and things like that. We have topic experiences on Google news. We have dedicated pages on Google trends and, of course, we're developing fact checking tools which I think is also a partner activity. I want to point out in particular the work of claim review under schema.org which I think is the right approach because it is not an individual actors activity. It is an open standard where the community together verifies the fact on the ground and we're training journalists and news side operators. I think there was 300 workshops this year alone through the first draft initiative that we're supporting. There were 4,600 journalists trained this year through Google news initiative and as Sylvio pointed out for political ads, we have introduced verification of authorship. You can actually find out who did it and we'll include that in the transparency report we share with EU and are the relevant authorities.
In terms of combating malicious content, we have some numbers that even I found staggering. In 2008, there were 2.1 million page removed is from the ads index. There were 2,000 ads removed from the playstore and there were 15,000 sites completely removed out of the Google index because of malicious or suspected malicious content. This is 2018. Yeah.
And then maybe a couple of words about YouTube which I think is a particularly difficult environment. But just to shared developments there. Originally, we estimated we recommend new videos by how long the watch time is across the period that it is up. That is actually changed to a new indicator that is satisfaction which means the videos just run through are not the ones that get recommended. It's the ones that get likes, that get shared and that actually get recommended through surveys that we do. Is that the best way to do it? If you have enormous point of view, want a more panelistic Google, then yeah. We have to agree on the norms and how to decide what good content is. So far, when you type something in at Google, then you get what most people think is the best answer. It's not our decision. It's not our editorial choice. I think it's a very difficult question whether you they want editorial choice at Google or not.
In terms of misinformation, we have introduced alert panels. About we are suspicious this is a conspiracy story, we highlight a message on top linking claim source that is debunking the myth as we see it and we rank authoritative sources higher in the algorithm. If you want some more numbers on the YouTube, it was 8.8 million videos just in Q4 of 2018. 2.4 million channels in Q42018 and 260 million comments removed in just three months. I think what's very clear is the scale is of a magnitude that we have to find systemic solutions and you cannot expect in individual institutions to take care of this.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thanks very much. I thought it was important that you mention all those numbers because indeed, we're looking at information overload and it's an enormous amount of stuff that needs to go on. Maybe it's time to move to solutions.
I would like to invite Giacomo Mazzone. Max actually said something which I found intriguing. Do we want journalism to be captured by the capitalist idea of the market? You represent public media from Europe, maybe an idea that isn't catching on in many parts of the rest of the world. So I'm not sure that's a solution. But from your perspective from the EBU, what are you trying to do to foster quality fact based journalism and how to look at the problems that are described by the first three panelists?
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: We are EuroDIG. I think we need to focus on the European perspective that is more appropriating the contest. If we bring this global analysis, probably the solution could be different. Of course I think have having strong service media in each country that are really independent from all to which they need to be independent means economic and financial powers and the government could be the benchmark for the quality journalism for reliable information. That's something that we do all the time.
But of course the main problem we have to face today is that the business model for all news outlets is definitely compromised. We are facing the certification of news outlets in a lot of countries. For instance, local newspaper is appearing because they cannot finance themselves anymore. As a consequence, we have authorization of the journalism profession. I recommend my son to be a journalist even though I have been a journalist for 35 years. It's not a career where today has the same possibility of being independently minded as I was privileged in the public service. Today even in Italy, the number of journalists leaving from this profession has shrinked by nearly half. So this is a big problem that we need to face. If you have very badly paid journalist with unsafe jobs that are paid by article or having contract for three months, how you can expect they will be independent, that they will do investigative journalist and they will put against big giants or big corporation or even politicians. That is a very scary situation.
Having said so, then I am always a little bit upset when we talk about fact checking because for me, fact checking the is what I am supposed to do since the very first day I started this work. But the problem is that fact checking is a mantra that is used, in my opinion, to take away the responsibility from the platforms. Sorry to say that to Max. We are trend, but he knows I decent radically. Where have you been given the numbers that is taken down? I am worried. Who decides it is good take them down? On which base and editorial judgment? For those of you that are not aware, BBC keeps a weekly account number of all the items of BBC that are not anymore reachable through the platforms from search engines that's been removed. Most of these items are concerning. Big tycoon companies, countries that are authoritarian countries and you do not make accessible because it is damage on you reputation. This is taken away? Nobody knows why. Nobody knows the criteria. This is attending the right information and access to the public. If you do on a search engine look for something you cannot find today means that it is not accessible to the citizen.
So the problem is radical to rethink the relations between the platforms and the traditional media. I am glad that there has been 300 seminars made last year about fact checking, et cetera. I think the problem is that there are traditional media. They have enrolled in society. They are reliable and they need to have what was in the past prominence. We have in Europe the mask regulation for national broadcasting channels. I think it is written in the new directive or media directive reform that this prominence needs to be respected in the new internet world. It is not the single users that can do the fact checking. There are hundreds and thousands of journalists paid for doing this, but they need to be accessible. They need to have priority over other things.
In another example, in Italy, three years ago, (inaudible) shut down a web service that was created in Naples by a very creative family. What were they doing? They were inventing totally fake news. For instance, he killed his wife, put her in a bag and left to the train station. People look at it, click on it and they don't go no where. They were simply collecting advertising. This is a very brutal way to make it, but it means that current system can be gained a lot and the answer of the platform is yeah, but our user generated contents. We removed if there is something that is wrong. No. Media has a responsibility, preemptive responsibility and if we do something wrong, we can go to jail or be prosecuted. Tell me and I will remove as soon as possible. Like this will not work. We need to go to a different level and need to have a different interaction.
Last point because I forgot. We have done some experience of fact checking. Our members in certain countries during elections have done fact checking experience. This is a waste of time. If it is not played correctly byes platform, we waste our time. We don't know which are the news that were sky rocketing. So you probably debunk the news that nobody cares of. Even if you identify something that is scary or questionable, then nothing happens because there was this red dot. This news can be questionable. Doesn't look like that. You need more radical positions that have been tested recently. For instance, the realization of the likes for Facebook or current time certain pages, et cetera. They need to be made in a collaborative, fully transparent way. If not, it is a waste of time and we will not do anymore.
>> LEON WILLEMS: You are referring to fact check news is not visited by the same audience visiting the false news. Is that ‑‑
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: If you live in your bubble and you put the red dot on something saying this is questionable news, then some people think that you are part of the plot that tried to give them the fake reality representation.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thank you. You have been working for the Council of Europe. The way I know the Council of Europe, it is one of our truly important legal institutions that we have to determine what is right or wrong to a certain extent. But you are ahead of media and internet. So how do you ‑‑ basically we see calls for regulation. We see enormous efforts to take down information that is harmful. What to make of it. In a sense, the whole problem is that it is harming democracy. We see the examples from ‑‑ well, is it harmful? I don't know. Is it bad that a median becomes ‑‑ has the ability to become the president of the Ukraine or not? I'm certainly not in a position to decide on that. A lot of outside interference, but also very important, problematic issues. Who does what and who should do what? Why is the counsel of Europe interested? One of the problems is that institutions are in and of itself also under attack by the public because they're less trusted. How do you ‑‑ what do you make sense of this? What should you do?
>> Those are all very difficult questions. The point is that there is no easy answers. It is very complex and we have to balance different rights. Right of privacy, right to expression in order to have ‑‑ try to identify right solutions. So it is not always ‑‑ base attendance to look for easy, quick solutions. It is not right attitude. We need to have more research and try to build what's called terrible environment for media and for journalists, to have valuable, quality, public debate. We believe that quality journal some quality media can be part of a solution. How to respond to the spread of this information. So it can be part of a response how to address these problems.
But in order to have this terrible environment for journalist, for quality journalists and independent media, we need to focus ‑‑ we need to state but also different media actors need to govern and engage more. It is a lot of work to be done.
Different solutions can be found in order to ‑‑ in order to reach this goal of creating environment for journalism and for independent media. Definitely part of this possible measures is providing independent quality media and ethical journalism with relevant financial opportunities. So basically ‑‑ so basically to think how to respond to the market tailor of many quality journals that right now struggle how to survive in the environment where content is available free of charge on the internet basically. The sell for tangible copies is dropping rapidly. So we need to be inventive in order to support this unique (inaudible) which is dependent journalism and dependent quality media.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Would you frame independent quality media as a public good? In terms of the perspective on the business model and what Max said, well, I actually watched a (inaudible) show because it is independently funded and I think it's quality. Why the hell should that be a market operation? GIACOMO is saying there are so many journalists unemployed. There seems to be a problem here from your perspective. For example, Bobbish in the Czech republic has captured the private media and the public broadcasting system is still a bastion of quality information. Where as in what happened in Hungary is actually the public media that were captured by the political parties and it is the news that is one of the last commercial news that was one of the last let's say sanctuaries of quality journalism.
It is very difficult. We're talking about European solutions. Very difficult to have a one size fits all approach. Then what do we do? Where do we start?
>> So yes. Indeed,ky only agree there is no one solution that would fit every ‑‑ even when Europe landscape. One solution that would fit every market, every legal culture, every media on the landscape. So we need to find right solutions for different ‑‑ different countries. A lot depends on the local specificity. We have work conducted right now because of Europe. Possible solutions that can be suggested to the member states in order to write what is working for them. So one of the solutions is to consider fiscal measures in order to help media companies to survive in this difficult new challenging environment. Another element ‑‑ well, no in the European landscape is direct state support, public actuality. So function for a football service media, maybe we need for local media, community media. Support teams for particular journalism. For supporting given projects of investigative work. It is something to be considered. But also redistribution of mechanism online media platforms need to contribute to a greater extent to financing of production of the quality and media content. So it is also something to be considered.
>> LEON WILLEMS: I think we need to get some perspectives from the audience, but before we do that, I want to give one minute to Sylvio and one minute to Max because the problem here seems to be a real massive problem. Actually all of you are saying we need systemic solutions, we need a different approach, we need to rethink the relationship between social media platforms and the traditional media. But from European perspective, um, of course media and information, right, to access of information is something that the member states of the European union think as their turf. What from the European perspective can you do? On the one hand, all of you are saying just to put it very bluntly, we are here in Netherlands. So it is allowed to be blunt that the information ecosystem is one of the important infrastructure we have. But European union is doing stuff that is like fuel grounds for independent journalism or research journalism. There's not a real massive intervention to save quality information. What is limiting you, Sylvio?
>> SYLVIO MASCAGNA: In one minute is not. Let's start again with a positive note because if we look at ‑‑ if we go over assessment of the European parliament information, from a democratic point of view, I think the election worked relatively well. I think all the counter measure we have put in place have helped for sure to deter and expose this information and then to limit in a certain way this information even if it is clear that there were enough free from this information. So let's start from there because I think we should continue in that way.
I refer to something that we have been doing with platforms to get better to detect and to analyze this information. But there are other strengths we are working on. For instance, I think media literacy is key in this area. And for the first time, we launch the media literacy week in March for five days with more than I think there were 300, 200 events all around Europe. We could (inaudible) probably yes, but we are supporting with some funds also quality journalists. We recognize that the media, the journalists have a key role in this. So you ask about solution. I think there is not one magic solution. I think we should continue to work hard on this four or five pillars that we have identified and that we all have a responsibility. Social media, a new solution, national solution. I forgot to mention also we have established for the first time a European network that brings together national networks, national authorities dealing with the electoral commission, data privacy and cyber security from the national level.
If I can say only one thing more because I think this is an interesting debate. I would like to bring my experience on a different file. That is illegal terrorist content on the internet. Because the issue with this information is that we won't want to go to censorship. I mean, what we should work on, what we should try to work together better is to increase transparency. I mean, people need to know from where the information come. And then when the information could be hate speech or be other candor is a crime, then I think we have already all the remedies to fight. But for sure, we don't want to impose any kind of censorship or to impact the freedom of speech. Even because ‑‑ and let me finish. It is extremely difficult to define to qualify what is illegal in terms of this information. Why the legal content we have illegal framework that can pass to qualifies a piece of content as illegal is not the same here. So I think this is also important angle that we should discuss.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Okay. Max, I will get to you soon. I will get to you soon. Some remarks from the audience? Please say who you are.
>> Yes. My name is Alex. I am from the internet society. The problem may be difficult, but it seems the solution is staring us in the face. First, we had a perfect system with local media checking local news and thus being a control and what came out in society. Then Google came out and put the local media out of business and now it is complaining it cannot solve the problems that the local media used to solve. And the lady from the European union says we need physical measures. Then the counsel of Europe, I can read that suggestion ‑‑ redirect that suggestion to the gentleman of Google to quote a famous Dutch countryman. Pay your taxes and we will have more than enough money to take care of the local media and resurrect them. If you don't believe me, check on Google and type in Google tax loopholes and you will find all the amount we need to sanitize the media landscape. Thank you.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Couple more remarks here.
>> Hi. I am from Denmark. I think we are looking in the complete wrong directions here because what we need to face and the truth is hard is that there is a demand for fake news, for disinformation. As long as there is a demand for this and we see in the United States the other day when Trump did his speech, that will be suppliers. So my suggestion is that we send a (inaudible) for every coin used for platform solutions, you should use one coin for news literacy programs.
>> LEON WILLEMS: That's a clear solution, suggestion.
>> Hi. My name is Ana. I'm a (inaudible) for Europe. It's not a solution or a suggestion. It is more of a closed question. Regarding solutions that you all just mentioned, I am curious. Do you believe that it would work when there is no political will on a country level? All of the actions by journalists or journalists union when the countries are trying to sabotage all of that.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thank you. And you?
>> My comment was more about funding. It was mentioned during the discussion. There is clearly a money available for that, but indeed, I think the problem is more how to make it trickle to journalists without problems of independence. I was wondering if it was considered to have a clearing house mechanism that can somehow cut the ties between the service of funding and the receiver of this funding to make sure that this can be accessible.
>> LEON WILLEMS: And fifth one and then we'll go to the panel starting with Max.
>> Thank you. I want to share an idea that I had, maybe just dreaming, but yeah. I think that journalists already been said should do the fact checking and not people because not everyone has the time to check every news. What about creating a new platform with a new category of journalists that indeed, are doing the fact check. If you are a journalist, you can apply and someone will check on your article. If you are a journalist that do the fact check, you are in this category. As long as you are in this together, every time you post an article on internet, it will be like with an icon like a certified article. As long as you are in this category, you can have like pre‑religious. For example, tax privileges and, of course, if you make mistakes like if you do like three articles without fact check, you would be kicked out from the category. So it was just an idea.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Who will decide on that?
>> A commission of experts, I think.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Commission of experts. Okay. So, um, Max, there's a lot of ideas about money and advertisement in relation to Google. How do you react? What is ‑‑ what do you think? What do you make of it? The suggestions that were made.
>> MAX SENGES: I took a good bunch of notes and first of all, I wanted to start with Giacomo. That sounds like a really useful thing to bring transparency and allow to follow up. And the checks and balances for take downs that you implied is certainly something that I think it has the potential to scale, to work on the millions of pieces and incidents scale that we're talking about. There is an old saying that user generated content needs user generated governance. I think that's true certainly on the first instance. First should try to solve things in the neighborhood between the people directly, if that's not working, you apply the community rules. Still one party is not satisfied and you go to the higher national or international authorities. I think you can tackle a lot of incidents on that direct person to person, user to user piece.
Then I have to admit when you came more into to look at how best our best practices and are applied them to the internet, it sounded a bit to me like oh, my God. Someone is wrong on the internet. It's a different media. It's a different environment. You pointed out the difficult balance between freedom of expression and ‑‑ about we consider good content and fact check content. That's why I think they're trying to in the first instant make sure the facts are straight. Everything else when it comes to oh, this is a lie. I don't believe this. Is it art? Is it humor? Is it comedy? You are getting in such difficult environments ‑‑
>> LEON WILLEMS: Max, I think that the question that was posed to you was is it all right that Google makes decisions on what is right or wrong? What is your comment? Because I think that is a very problematic ‑‑ I mean, I don't think you have an answer.
>> MAX SENGES: Actually, I was going to get to that because I think Google finds itself many times in a catch 21 situation. Where you either act or take content dine and you are creating a more safe environment. You are acting responsibly, but then on the other hand, people will say you're take down too much content. How you can take down this particular one? We're talking about millions of pieces. How you can take down this one? That was the mistake. I think it's a balance question and it's a question of whether the narrative is you want Google to play a strong role and put its norms and the norms that the company stands for out there in obviously deliberation with the public. But that's a strong Google or do you want a Google that's more predictable and unbiased in either direction and gives you a representation of what people want. It's not that this information with the spam and weaponized information comes from us directly. I wanted the point to say this is a challenge for all of us as a societal challenge and a governance challenge. It is not something you can simply put over to one colleague. I did want to point out there is a really interesting movement currently happening with the contract for the web, that the web foundation is putting out that is basically if you want a societal contract for the web that size governments, companies should and very importantly users should because as was pointed out in the comments as well, it's a lot about media literacy and making those decisions at the end of the system. There was an old saying that at the internet intelligence at the node and I think that should continue. The more intelligence we put into the system, the more systemic mistakes we also make. If we strengthen the end point and create the engagements that you can create through the internet, if you have users participate, that's actually a very positive thing to do. Also on your point regarding the ‑‑ I don't know what the red dot means. It says it is verified or not. I haven't seen that, but Wikimedia in Germany have two versions. The wild west Wikipedia and then you see older versions of the article that the community has looked at and has approved. I think somewhere in that sphere is an interesting solution where you crowd source and you work together. I also like your point about the information ecosystem as our food ecosystem and I am surprised about how little brain food has been brought up because this is really what we need our brains. For food, we want nutrition information. We want all kinds of information about how it was produced, et cetera. I think all of that can be applied as interesting and useful piece.
To the internet society, thanks very much for your comments. I do think that you equate Google with the internet. Google is a tool that gives access to information and that does that without the intention of killing any industries or doing anything. With regards to tax, I also have to say that I cannot hear it anymore. I think most of us as private people engage tax consultants who help us pay as little tax as possible. I am very sorry. I do think it's a very important issue. Google does engage in closing tax loops, but you cannot expect anybody to pay more tax thank than you have to.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Google has been fined by the European Commission a few times over the last years. No? How much money was that?
>> MAX SENGES: I think it was several billion.
>> LEON WILLEMS: So why don't we put that into local journalism. Is that an idea, Sylvio? People here are saying they are convinced ‑‑ they are convinced that the market model and that's what I hear people say ‑‑ there's two problems. The market model doesn't function. That's what GIACOMO is saying. That is what Max is saying. We have more or less, you know ‑‑ we agree on that. Maybe you don't. And the second remark is okay. What can we do as long as politicians and it's not just about Russia. It is also about information, destabilization and manipulation that is happening in western European countries on maybe sometimes themes that are spiraled out of control. Vitaliy was saying in the Ukraine, populism, et cetera. If there is no political will, then what do you do? So where is ‑‑ what I'm trying to see is where is the role for the politicians to take up? As a free press advocate, I believe that government should be reluctant to interfere in the media sphere, but it is clear that this is a problem that is asking for political solutions also whether it stacks, whether it's funding, whether it is public and commercial, whether it's regulation, what is the role for politicians? I will go for a second round of questions. Is it too big of a chunk? I'm sorry if I am sorry if I am putting on you the spot.
>> SYLVIO MASCAGNA: I will pass your suggestion to the new president of the commission. We will know who will be. No. I think today your remark is legitimate. I think today, for instance, there is a debate among your leaders in the European counsel on this issue. I don't get to be honest 100% when you say there is not political support in the sense that I look at this problem from a different perspective. We know there are governments around Europe that are of different measure. I will say that ‑‑ and this is not just to say that we're good, but I will say for many different instance, we have seen quite important commitment from national authorities on many different things. Of course you have countries that are much more committed and countries that maybe are less committed. But I will say that ‑‑ because government pass. I think that we should look at this in a more structure way. But I repeat. It's not about censorship here. Not to (inaudible) interest to enter in this debate because it is extremely difficult and I think that people have still the right to say what they think about everything up to a moment where this becomes illegal, up to a moment when this can harm other people.
So I think what we want to do is indeed, to make this transparent. There is political advertising where absolutely not clear who was paying for this political advertising, who was entitled to pay for that political advertising. In a certain way all members says up to a degree, of course, but all countries have legislation to regulate electoral campaign. Normally if there is a political advertising on the radio, before you are entitled to listen to advertising, they have been paid (inaudible), et cetera, et cetera.
In all countries, there is this regulation. What was missing is that the internet grows along in a certain way and I think that we should mirror what exists for other communication means in the internet. The paid political advertising was the first step in that integration, I think.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thanks. We'll go for more questions. You were raising your hand.
>> Well, I think one of the solutions could be like getting fined or monetizing fact checking. I think you were talking about this Facebook red spot. You really need to have a direct link to debunking information so that it would be transparent and people can go and check for themselves and they could sort of vote on it as well whether it's true or not. It would change over time as well.
And I think another thing would be really important would be to make slow journalism worth it. I think that's something that's a real key. I think a lot of people are totally fed up with click back news and I think it is really nice to read a journalist article of 32, 50 pages about one issue that actually dwells really deep into the issue and you learn a lot. It is like reading a novel on reality. I think there are ways to do it. There's one long play. It's a news service in Finland. It's quite small time, but I think it is getting traction and I think it can be like lots of market for that.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thank you. We had another question from the gentleman here.
>> Yes. It would be a question to Google whom I not consider the boogieman but actually our friend because they help us out in many ways. It is about the attention economy and the business model. At what point would you consider yourself a news publisher and take the responsibility that news publishers have always done as gate keepers to information. By an example, news publishers have an editorial every day stating that if you ‑‑ if you have news from our news outlet, maybe we're right‑winged and maybe we are very European biased or something like that. So that you as a user know what the source of information is. I don't see Google taking the same responsibility as ‑‑ well, sort of a news provider.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Yeah. I sympathize with Max because he was singled out here. You were raising your hand. Sorry.
>> MAX SENGES: But let me start with this one. It is something we debate continuously that is not an easy decision to make. Not only for whether we want to or whether it is good for the ecosystem. It also helps provide news themselves. Then you would get into another level of competition. We have started to produce content on YouTube which I see as a step in that direction to become the content provider ourselves. But when it comes to news so far, I think the Google news portal which is by itself controversial enough is the intermediate step I would say. And they're due to exactly the requests that we are hearing. We're starting to have a spectrum. It is always a spectrum T. comes closer to providing curated content and then once you start to curate content and you don't just rely on what interests by people tell you, then you are starting to have that responsibility and I don't know. I don't work in that particular function, but I do know we're continuously did baiting that.
I do want to come back to the proposal for self‑organized, good quality journalism portal that's developing. I know there is one that does exactly that. Sign up journalists for online reporting on a trust basis with applications. I can't remember the name, if you want to follow up, I am happy to look up it.
What I do know is a project I find more interesting because it serves as a second function. Global voices. It started out of the Berkman Center in Hubbard. It is an independent organization new for many years. What they do is they translate content. Not only have trusted bloggers or citizen journalists or whatever you want to call them, they translate from Iranian. That's another function if you don't want to rely on I‑translate. That's a very promising path to take because you also develop the human trust and networks of people that can work together.
When Sylvio made his comments, one ‑‑ one incident just to give you a glimpse into. Put yourself into the shoes of Google and how we're thinking about stuff and how we're debating it. When it comes to terrorist content and YouTube, illegal content we have to take it down; however, are we also losing some of the most interesting data source to understand what is going on there by taking down the content? So we are not ‑‑ we haven't been asked to do this, but we're thinking about isn't there not incredible value for researchers in that area? Where researchers apply, but there will always be an element of trust. Once you give them access to the video, they can just hold up their phone and take a video of it and then it is out again. So I think these are really, really difficult questions. And it's not a black and white answer. As I started my comments today, I think we are in this together. It's a matter of debating and understanding what works and yes. There are mistakes made along the way. It is not move fast and break things. That was an early internet MEME of putting things out and the heated debate we have right now. It's a cautious more conservative environment. I hope we don't end up where you ended up which is very, very tight environment. We have quality, but I am sure you can share a good round of stories of how slow and bureaucratic the system has become. We need to find each other somewhere in the middle and hopefully keep the good of both sides.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thanks for that. Before we go to our closing report, I wanted to give the floor to Vitaliy and GIACOMO and (inaudible) The discussion is spiraling between the platforms and the role of the European union. We have articles in procedures around a couple ever nation states that are members of the European union and the lack of press freedom is one of the problems. Should the European union do more? GIACOMO, actually, what some of the people who are not from let's say our generation of publishers and journalism from the public media system are saying we need new models. We need new journalism models. Isn't the publishing world, the print journalism and the broadcasting word, are we not getting out of date? Vitaliy, from a perspective of development, how can we develop new ideas? Because it seems that, you know, we're staring in the abyss, but we're not really working, working towards new models.
>> Well, certainly. European union, but states also, European states should engage more in this respect. While I believe it's primary for the states to address pressing issues, (inaudible) for other state holders and for Civil Society to engage in solution fighting. I would like us to refer to discussions. Actually, none of the solutions applied on this will not work. It is not enough. Technical solution can be useful, but actually for some good status, it will show users when faced with flagging on Facebook by keeping a piece of information is fake. They will acknowledge or they will find it flagging is biased and true.
Technical solutions ‑‑ options is part of the solutions, but not one developing media and information literacy by also rebuilding trust in media in online platforms can be done. We don't have time to explore this. It will not be enough. We have to consider the same time variety of complimentary measures.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thank you. GIACOMO?
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: It's complex. I think that the main issue that we need to have clear is that there is an industry that exists, that there's work and there's been heavily regulated for more than 100 years. Okay?
I suspect the platforms they like to support to engage individuals because they prefer not to discuss with media organizations directly because they prefer to have a hundred journalists that individually work and they do the fact checking at home, et cetera, et cetera, instead of working with traditional media organization. This is fundamentally wrong. This continues to undermine the system. Why you would mention the Czech Republic? Why in the Czech Republic in Hungary or Turkey there's been a caption of traditional media by new actors that are new to the government country?
For ages, they're making the business out of producing newspapers and producing news channels. At a certain point, they get without advertising anymore. So there are empires that were proud to be independent and to be stronger much to the governments, once they are not making many more money and tycoon to the power of the country arrives and make you a big offer on the table, they sell. This is what is happening because I think we need to strength the media industry. Hundreds of journalists alone will never be able to do the same thing.
>> LEON WILLEMS: I had a pertinent question to you. We are closing off after an hour. Is the traditional industry finding new ways to trust? You are currently almost looking at, you know, the people outside.
>> GIACOMO: I have a gift for you. It is called 50 ways to make it better.
>> LEON WILLEMS: I noticed.
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: It is not about sex. It's about journalists and how to engage with people in the countries and the citizens. I think this is what we do every day for making this. The conditions have to be fair. Just to answer to your question, (inaudible) blew up because she was a single journalist. And there was unfortunately in the country the public is so weak in support they cannot afford investigative journalists. It is better for the mafia, for the corrupt government to kill a single. Their interest is to be credible and to have a return on investment from the citizens. So I think before to throw away what we're building 100 years of history would be good to see if it's possible to work together, but together as equal. The mechanism Google gives the money to the media industry, to the publishing industry is ridiculous. You decide who you give the money.
>> MAX SENGES: The scale is different.
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: But it is expected to be the same. You said the infrastructure of media is crucial. It's crucial for our living standards.
>> LEON WILLEMS: I think we all agree on that actually. Vitaliy, I asked you for pertinent comment where to go from here in terms of innovation, new ideas.
>> VITALIY MOROZ: In today's world, what is the phenomena is the tools used by non‑democratic countries. And that is the key for not democracies. On this side when we talk about the tack companies, they are generated from democracies will act according to respect to human rights and democracy values. The key issue is building dialect and this approach when we jump into dialect between government, tech companies and Civil Society. European civilizations is built on human rights. That's why when we talk about counsel of Europe find journalists in a very broad term. Counsel will defend you as a journalist and it doesn't ‑‑ and this means that it might be in some way manipulated. What is solutions for sure? We should push some are transparency of funding of media sources and we should rely on self‑regulations when it was journalists and journal standards are violated and they should use the approach naming and shaming. Standards must have and only encouraging people to follow the standards is one of the good solution for journalists.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Okay. We have to close it off here. I'm handing back to Michael. I will not make an attempt to wrap up, but you will.
>> MICHAEL: I know we're cutting just into lunch, but what we need to do right now is Marco is our session reporter. He's going to come up and essentially give the wrap up by presenting to you the key messages which will be taken away from this session and which will feed into the larger internet governance forum annual meeting which will be held in Berlin in November. And will also be very much the summary from this meeting as well as policy recommendations. So Marco, can I give you the floor?
>> Marco: Thank you very much and thank you to the speakers for the interesting discussion. As a participant, it wasn't easy to summarize in three or four points. The solutions that were proposed, but I will try anyways. There were few challenges proposed. First one was the challenge on the nature of this information which was set to be a phenomena that revolving quickly. It is an evolving tactics and solutions included mentioned you commission the four pillars strategy, the rapid alert system to tackle this information and the shared platform and the government as well as other corporations mechanisms and private technology companies as well as monitoring of the implementation. An important point that was also stressed by speakers was to have access or to get access to the big data and the data analytics of the platforms behind the phenomena of this information and private technological companies and platforms with independent researchers.
A second challenge was the interplay between populism and social media and the use of social media for hate speech which fit into the more general most truth debate. And more practical challenges as we saw in the Ukraine and (inaudible) such as the proxy media phenomena and solutions were mentions in the directions of a more controlled platforms in the case of (inaudible) violations of (inaudible) rights and control which is balanced. Of course the existing human rights mechanisms.
The second part of the discussion focused on a third challenge which was how to respond to a business model in the digital economy that makes this information more profitable than actual based information? And just to wrap up, three main solutions were listed. First of all, a big stress on the independence of the media and think over the relation and most importantly between platforms and traditional media. Is it is fact checking and cannot be on the media loan and the tech platforms, but it should be on the interaction of the two. And second point is stress based quality on ethical journalisms which is essentially to fight this information. And the challenge here is there is not one size fit all approach. Solutions has three customized to the countries. They were mentioning they're putting forth targeted suggestions for specific countries in order to support the media outlets, the creation of support teams for specific types of media and a discussion about not only this information and elections, but how to identify illegal content which is ‑‑ whose authentication is local. All the speakers stress transparency and not only the relations between actors, but on content regulation and management aspect in order to have these corporation mechanisms be compatible. It is a full session report will be available on digital watch observatory website later this afternoon.
>> So does anyone disagree with these key points and does anyone accept the key points is the better question to ask.
>> Thank you. I think.
>> MAX SENGES: Thank you. There was one element where I think I heard something I disagree with. It was never said business model favored this information. I think you're saying when you're describing the problem on number 3 that the new business models favor this information. I don't think that's the case.
>> It was a short cut. It wasn't said. Perhaps it was implied. We want to strike that particular sentence from the key messages. Someone in the audience has a remark about it. But it wasn't.
>> MAX SENGES: Someone in the audience has a remark about it. But it wasn't said in my memory.
>> This is Lisa from Ranking to the Rights. Someone that would keep it in the statement.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Sylvio?
>> SYLVIO MASCAGNA: Two key messages you would like to see. One is that although the measure put in place worked relatively well, there was this information and we should not accept this as a new normal is important in this. And the second key message, of course, the European election were extremely visible. We were debating on this since a long.
But the election in Europe, every week starting with national recollection on the 7 of July. So I think that we should keep up all together collectively this momentum. Also the companies and not to let's say ‑‑ to give up because we have done already our job.
>> LEON WILLEMS: I didn't feel at all that it was anyone's intention at the panel. Please thank you all for being here. Michael, we're going to dinner, I think.
>> And a dot.
>> Actually, we still haven't clarify the point about key messages. How would we ‑‑ so I'm going to propose then could you potentially reword that, Marco, so instead of it saying that it's specifically about other business model is encouraging this information just to say there could potentially be a relationship between business models and this information. Is that more acceptable?
>> (inaudible) (low voice)
>> Or you could address the fact there is a demand for this information. So there is also a supply of this information which was addressed in the session.
>> Always about this information. That is more general problem. I think that's absolutely true. I don't think that people want more (inaudible) It's sensationalists content. (inaudible) (Multiple speakers at once)
>> Before, we're already 15 minutes over. I ‑‑ I ‑‑
>> LEON WILLEMS: I think we cannot reach agreement on this point. So we should list it as something that is disagreed upon.
>> Yes. I think that is something we can do.
>> LEON WILLEMS: That's the normal way of doing things. GIACOMO, final comment and then we stop.
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: Do you know where the largest library of books at the index? Books and books about devil things? The largest collection is in the Biblioteca Interna. It is in Rome. You create your own internet and it is accessible by permission of the cardinal. You can find something else instead of the cardinal and you can give out access to researchers, studies, et cetera. This is not the main problem. There are solutions all over history.
>> LEON WILLEMS: Thank you for that. And with that all said, thank you for being here and your patience for a rich discussion. Thank you.
>> Just very quickly as well. Thank you to all our speakers to audio and the organising team to get this together. Our remote moderator I don't think there was anybody in the remote room and also to our live captioner. Thank you very much.
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