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 elections2019 EU electionsUkraine 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.


Calendar and announcements