Starts: October 26, 2021
Ends: October 27, 2021
Brussels, Belgium

#Disinfo2021: October 26 & 27

EU DisinfoLab’s annual conference will take place this year on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 26 and 27, here in Brussels at the Renaissance Brussels Hotel. The Coronavirus required our 2020 conference be held online, but this October, we are returning to our treasured, physical format for the 2021 edition. 

Pre-Registration in now open! Please complete the form below to pre-register for our annual conference.

Pre-registration form

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a limited number of seats, completing this form does not guarantee your attendance. Completing this form indicates your interest in pre-registration. Your registration will only be considered valid once you receive a confirmation email. Please make sure to include an email address that will be used for all communication.

You will not receive an immediate response upon completion of this form. We will return to you in due course (end of summer). We are a small team, working hard to put on this community event. Thanks for your patience! If you have already pre-registered, there is no need to pre-register again 🙂

A draft of the programme is available below. This is liable to change between now and the conference.

Tuesday, October 26

8h00 – 9h00: Registration and welcome coffee

9h – 9h10: Welcome remarks by EU DisinfoLab

9h10 – 9h40: Opening Keynote, Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat

9h40 – 10h15: Keynote interview, Dr. Mathias Wargon, emergency physician

10h15 – 10h45: Keynote Interview: Sophie Zhang, Facebook whistle blower

10h45 – 11h15: Coffee break

11h15 – 12h00: Panel Discussion: Disinfo for Hire: micro-influencers, troll armies, and influence buying in the modern disinformation economy.

Disinformation is a lucrative business and often outsourced for and performed by skilled professionals and commercial marketing firms. Outsourcing provides plausible deniability to clients who wish to remain one step removed.

  • Anna Gielewska, Reporters Foundation
  • Chloe Colliver, Head of Digital Policy and Strategy at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue
  • Ieva Ivanauskaitė, Head Of Business Development at DELFI Lietuva

12h00 – 13h30: Lunch break  

13h30 – 14h30: Presentations, Measuring the Impact of Disinformation

One of the greatest challenges in the study of influence operations and other disinformation campaigns remains the challenge of measuring their impact on societies and individuals, human rights and democratic institutions. Three presentations will offer frameworks for understanding and evaluating the concrete impact of digital disinformation, which is essential for taking an appropriate, necessary, and proportionate response. Followed by a group Q and A.

  • Ruurd Oosterwoud, Founder of DROG, presentation on AdTac
  • Georgios Giannopoulos, European Commission Joint Research Center, Hybrid Threats Flagship Project
  • TBD

14h30 – 15h15: Panel Discussion, Disinfo from the Top: How should platforms tackle disinformation in global political speech?

When he was deplatformed by US social media companies, the former US president had been a “superspreader in chief. But how have platforms dealt with disinformation coming from the political ranks in other countries? What precedent is set, and what are the consequences of platforms’ differential actions according to political context, language-market, etc.

  • Dr. Myriam Redondo, RTVE Spain (TBC)
  • Domen Savic, Director of Drzavljan D (Slovenian ngo Citizen D)
  • Stephen Turner, Twitter Director of EU Public Policy
  • Susan Morgan, Moderator

15h15 – 15h45: Coffee break

15h45 – 17h00: Presentations, Understanding Disinformation Across the EU

  • Daniel Fazekas, Founder of Bamako Social
  • Viktoras Daukšas, Head of Debunk EU
  • Tom Southern, Project Director, Zinc Network

Social Event (upon registration)

Wednesday, October 27

8h00 – 9h00: Registration and welcome coffee

9h – 9h10: Brief welcome remarks by EU DisinfoLab

9h30 – 10h15: Panel Discussion, The Future of Open Source Intelligence: Perspectives in Addressing Foreign Information Manipulation

In a conversation about some of the biggest challenges facing the field of OSINT today, we hope to find our footing on pressing issues related to transparency, accountability, information sharing, data protection, and sanctions for repeat perpetrators of disinformation. We will also discuss OSINT’s relationship to adjacent fields like journalism, intelligence, and policing.

  • Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat
  • Lutz Guellner, Head of Division, Strategic Communications, European External Action Service (EEAS)
  • Camille Francois, Founder of Graphika (TBC)

10h15 – 10h45: Coffee Break

10h45 – 11h45: Presentations, Building More Trustworthy Information Environments

Normative initiatives like labels, ratings, and rankings, as well as tools for verification, allow us to differentiate reliable
sources of information from unreliable ones.
Through a few brief presentations, we will look at how these kinds of normative initiatives can be used to reinforce our trust in online content.

  • WeVerify Project, Horizon 2020
  • Olaf Steenfadt, Project Director of the Journalism Trust Initiative, Reporters Without Borders
  • Pascal Doucet-Bon, Deputy director of news department, FranceTV

11h45 – 12h15: Presentation

12h12- 13h45: Lunch Break

14h00 – 14h45: Presentations, Climate Change and Anti-Science Disinformation

The challenge of climate change disinformation and anti-science disinformation more broadly – while not new phenomena – are increasingly understood as a threat to our physical and digital environments. Two presentations will help us understand the nature of this challenge, what is at stake, and what we can do about it.

  • Alexandre Brutelle, Co-founder of the Environmental Investigative Forum
  • Jennie King, Senior Policy Manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue

14h45 – 15h30: Panel Discussion, Facing Disinformation as a Cybersecurity Threat

Because disinformation is by nature an online risk, it is a challenge for our cybersecurity governance and ecosystem to address. In order to fully safeguard our digital infrastructure, preserve information security, and guarantee a safe and trustworthy online environment, how should stakeholders come together to address disinformation and cybersecurity in the same breath?

  • Dr. Martin Innes, Director of the Crime and Security Research Institute at Cardiff University
  • Stéphane Duguin, CEO of the CyberPeace Institute
  • Karoliina Ainge,  Independent Diplomat’s Cybersecurity and Technology Lead,  former Head of Estonian Cyber Security Policy
  • Camille Francois, Graphika (TBC)
  • Bart Groothuis, Member of the European Parliament

15h30 – 16h00: Coffee break

16h00 – 16h45: Panel Discussion, Advocating for an EU Approach to Disinformation

  • TBC

16h45 – 17h00: Closing Keynote by Věra Jourová, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency