On May 28-29 in Brussels, join the community working against disinformation: case studies, civil society initiatives and tools will be presented. Pre-registrations for EU Disinfolab conference are open. Take a look at the agenda.
Don’t Put In, Put Out Please
Ukrainians, being confronted with Russian interference in domestic politics, have recently received a fake email about the election rules that was sent on behalf of Ukraine’s Minister of Interior. According to the Oxford Internet Institute, Ukraine may be home to “the most globally advanced case of computational propaganda.” In addition, Philip N. Howard in the New York Times has shown how in 2016 Russian ads target extreme right-wing voters in the US and encourage to put all ads in an accessible ad archive.
Should governments have more control on Facebook?
Following the statement of Mark Zuckerberg published in the USA, Germany, Ireland and France, governments should have a more active role in controlling content on social media and the internet. In his recent opinion in Washington Post, CEO of Facebook has stated: “Deciding whether an ad is political isn’t always straightforward. Our systems would be more effective if regulation created common standards for verifying political actors.” Specific attention in terms of regulation should be paid to harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability. The firm’s founder and chief executive warned that any advertising not properly registered will be blocked from mid-April.
Money is not enough
The European Commission has more than doubled its spending to 5 million euros to counter Russian interference and is enlarging its staff of analysts dedicated to tracking disinformation. However, according to the opinion of the editorial team of Bloomberg this is far from being enough, and “EU governments should engage citizens and deploy firm legal diplomatic countermeasures to clearly answer to the Russian disinformation strategy.”
EU fact checks of the week
- How the biggest collaboration between European fact checkers really works.
- The FactCheckEU initiative has proven wrong the statement of Lithuanian prime minister who claimed his country had no political contacts with Russia and Belarus.
- The EU FactCheck initiative has examined national, EU laws and regulations to determine the possibility for a judge to candidate for European elections, as it is the case in Croatia.
- Podcast: Alina Polyakova explains social media manipulation and IT as a tool for authoritarian regimes to control political debate at home and disrupt democracy abroad.
- Google is launching an innovative tool: Real-time Content Insights. Focusing on telling publishers what’s happening on their site at this moment, RCI helps them identify trending news stories that could attract more readers.
- Mozilla and a cohort of 10 independent researchers have published five guidelines for an effective ad archive API — and more transparent elections.
- Facebook has updated its ad repository in Europe. Its weekly report is published in the USA, the UK and India only.
- Digital Forensic Research Lab has detailed the key findings around the recent Iranian propaganda on Facebook.
- A report of the Reuters Institute’s Dr Richard Fletcher and Dr Joy Jenkins made for the European Parliament sees little evidence that the news media is responsible for polarisation. It also finds that social media can expose users to a wider range of viewpoints.
Calendar and announcements
- 17 April – EU DisinfoLab Webinar on Rating Sources to Understand Disinformation with Global Disinformation Index. The link to the video conference can be found here.
- 2 April is the International Fact Checking Day.
- 3-7 April @ Perugia, Italy: International Journalism Festival.
- A new groundbreaking digital literacy project called MediaWise will teach 1 million teenagers — half from undeserved communities — how to sort fact from fiction online by 2020.
- The shortlist for the European Press Prize 2019 is now available.
- 2-6 September @ Paphos, Cyprus: International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Please find the Call for Papers and Participation for the “Workshop on Challenging Misinformation: Exploring the Limits and Approaches”.