EU DisinfoLab Annual Conference
On 28-29 May in Brussels the EU DisinfoLab has hosted one of the major events gathering the community of journalists, civil society members, tech companies and government representatives working on disinformation. Missed the event? You can read the key takeaways from the conference on Twitter under the hashtag #Disinfo2019. Speakers’ presentations will be available on our website in a few days.
The conference has started with a kick off from Camille François interviewing Benjamin Cazenoves, survivor of Paris Bataclan attacks. The speakers have talked about how violent extremism and hate speech can collapse into one another, causing real harm to both individuals and society. The introductory panel discussed how disinformation strategies influence our brains. Case studies on the 2016 US elections, 2019 EU elections, Ukraine and Iran were presented, as well as different tools and methodologies used to uncover disinformation techniques. Moreover, Google and Twitter have put forward the actions undertaken to mitigate disinformation on their platforms. Nonetheless, one of the key outcomes of the session about discussing the framework for regulating disinformation was an opinion that the EU Code of Practice is not enough.
Concluding the conference, the EU Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian King, has summed up the main actions taken by the European Commission in tackling disinformation. Even though, it is too early to measure the level of interference in the EP elections, the Commissioner has noted that political disinformation remains a formidable challenge as the threat environment is still evolving.
Is Facebook a dictatorship?
Last Thursday, Facebook held its shareholder meeting. As The Guardian reports, investors voted on eight independent proposals, willing to reform the company that has seen its reputation shredded in recent years. One of them, aimed at changing Facebook’s dual-class voting system, which gives Mark Zuckerberg half of the voting shred. However, to pass the proposal it should be adopted by Mark Zuckerberg himself, who rejected it, as well as a proposal for an independent board chair. Kurt Wagner and Paula Dwyer from Bloomberg consider that as more and more investors jump on board with the ideas to change Facebook’s voting system, Zuckerberg will change his mind, even if only to save his own reputation.
- Data Analyst Luca Hammer has published his EU elections Twitter analysis.
- Karen White, Director for European Public Policy of Twitter, has published an article analysing 6.2m Tweets on EU elections.
- First Draft News project has gathered the reflections of several researchers and practitioners on information disorder during the EU elections.
- Six lessons from Tom Van de Weghe’s deepfakes research at Stanford on how should journalists address the growing problem of synthetic media.
- The 2019 Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index evaluated 24 of the world’s most powerful internet, mobile, and telecommunications companies on their disclosed commitments and policies affecting freedom of expression and privacy.
- “Today, you can hide behind anonymity to attack people at scale with a few three clicks,” Patricia Georgiou said. An app called Perspective is designed to stop the online abuse and harassment that restrains users from expressing themselves or makes them give up on conversations entirely.
- The ‘Drunk Pelosi’ video that racked up millions of views and sparked a national conversation was uploaded by a sports blogger Shawn Brooks from The Bronx.
Calendar and announcements
- 6-7 June @ Brussels: Annual Conference on European Media Law 2019.
- 11-14 June @ Tunis: RightsCon Summit on human rights in the digital age.
- 19-20 June @ UNESCO Headquarters in Paris: 63rd meeting of the International Programme for the Development of Communication.
- 20-21 June @ London : DFR Lab Digital Sherlocks 360/OS.
- EU DisinfoLab is looking for a new research officer.
- Who Targets Me is looking for a Policy Researcher.
- The Council of Europe is looking for consultants to strengthen the social media dimension of the No Hate Speech and Anti-discrimination Co-operation work.
- Hybrid CoE seeks a new Director.
- Walt Disney Television is looking for a Social Newsgathering Producer.