Happy (Belated) International Women’s Day!
We’ve got a roundup of #IWD2021 updates for you below.
Disinfo News and Updates
- Accountability and authoritative content. According to research from The Markup’s Citizen Browser project, official information related to COVID-19 may be reaching fewer Black Americans on Facebook than other demographic groups. Facebook’s response that the data sample was too small to reflect the breadth of users on the platform raises the question of what the company will do itself to promote more complete research and ensure accountability.
- 5 strikes. Twitter will start permanently banning users who repeatedly spread Covid-19 vaccine misinformation. They will also begin labeling tweets with misleading information about vaccines and linking to authoritative content.
- Open standards. The Coalition for Content Origin and Authenticity (C2PA), founded by Adobe, Arm, Intel, Microsoft, Truepic and the BBC, announced it will develop common technical standards to certify the “end-to-end” traceability of media content circulating online in an effort to combat misinformation.
- Deterrence. The Biden administration is exploring sanctions and other counter measures towards Russia and China in retaliation for recent hacking and cyberattacks.
EU Policy Monitor
In the EU Institutions
- EU Observatory of the Online Platform Economy. The European Commission has published the members of its expert group to date.
- Crowdfunding Regulation. Next month (April 12), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) will hold an open hearing for its Consultation Paper on draft Technical Standards under the European Crowdfunding Service Providers for Business Regulation. The consultation is open until May 28.
- INGE Update. At the last meeting of the Parlaiment’s Special Committee on Foreign Interference, HR/VP Josep Borrell lamented having “very little resources to study disinformation from China.”
In Member States
- The Netherlands. The Dutch disinformation monitoring platform Kieskijker found evidence of political ads on Twitter, exposing an enforcement failure by the platform which supposedly bans all political ads.
- Czech Republic. A survey by the STEM agency revealed around 40% of Czech internet users believe in conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Hungary. Hungary’s National Media and Infocommunications Authority launched proceedings against a broadcaster for an ad about same-sex couples raising children in the country.
Happy (Belated) Women’s Day!
In honor of International Women’s Day yesterday, we want to highlight the work of women promoting a healthier digital society and safeguarding our digital information ecosystem, and also acknowledge the rise in online violence against women and the threat of gendered disinformation. This of course also marks one year after the 8M demonstration in Spain, an event analysed by our researcher Maria Giovanna Sessa in her work on misogynistic misinformation during Covid19. This is also a good occasion to point to Julia Bayer’s #WomenInOSINT list on Twitter.
- Digital Gender Divide. The European Union is committing 20% of the Next Generation EU stimulus budget to digital, an area where women’s participation is under 17%. MEP Alexandra Geese and Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer (Frauen Loop) launched an #EUDigitalManifesto to address this digital gender divide. The recommendations focus on: Representation + Inclusion; Education + Training; and Future Funding. Rewatch the #EUDigitalManifesto Conference here.
- EU Gender Equality Strategy. The European Commission issued a statement ahead of IWD overviewing their initiatives related to gender equality, including the release of their 2021 Report on Gender Equality. ICYMI, you can contribute to the European Commission’s public consultation on gender-based and domestic violence, including online violence. The views gathered during the consultation will feed into a legislative initiative within the Gender Equality Strategy, expected by the end of this year. Contribute before May 10!
- Intersectional Feminism. Amsterdam-based Digital Freedom Fund shared a series of articles highlighting the importance of intersectional feminism for the digital rights movement.
- Online gender-based violence. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) surveyed women from 51 countries to measure the trend of online gender-based violence, and to disaggregate different threat tactics. “Misinformation and Defamation” represent the most commonly used tactic, with a 67% prevalence rate.
- Harassment of journalists. Tanja Milevska, Anastasia Tikhomirova and Marianna Spring have all experienced misogynist online harassment in their work as journalists. ECPMF’s Mapping Media Freedom initiative encourages women facing misogynist harassment and attacks to #ReportIt.
- Cause Hijacking. Lydia Morrish of First Draft News highlights how the decades’ old reproductive rights slogan “my body, my choice” has been co-opted by Covid-19 vaccine sceptics.
Research, Studies, Long Reads…
- “From WHOIS to WHOWAS: A Large-Scale Measurement Study of Domain Registration Privacy under the GDPR”. This paper presented at the recent Network and Distributed Systems Security (NDSS) Symposium aims to guide the enforcement of the GDPR by domain name registrars, registries, and other WHOIS providers and to identify pitfalls during compliance.
- “Michael Tubbs—the former mayor of Stockton, California—on racism and disinformation”. [Podcast]. Akintunde Ahmad reports for the Columbia Journalism Review’s Podcast, The Kicker, on how Central Valley California’s first Black mayor was targeted by disinformation from a mendacious false media outlet and was ultimately unseated on election day.
- “What is an “algorithm?”. Kristian Lum and Rumman Chowdhury write in MIT Technology Review on why we should be more precise when we talk about decision-making systems and when we demand ‘algorithmic accountability’.
- The Election Integrity Partnership (IEP) released their final report entitled “The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election.” The IEP was a coalition made up of the Stanford Internet Observatory, the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, Graphika, and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.
Events and Announcements
- 10 March – EU DisinfoLab Executive Director Alexandre Alaphilippe will be speaking at a webinar on European Perceptions about Covid-19: Lessons from the Infodemic for the Future of Media and Technology, hosted by the European Liberal Forum (ELF). Sign up here.
- 8 – 12 March – The UN’s cyber-security focused Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) has published the first draft of its report, which will form the basis for negotiations during the group’s third substantive meeting, taking place this week online.
- 8, 10, & 12 March – The Yale Law School/Wikimedia Initiative on Intermediaries and Information is hosting a series on novel regulatory responses to misinformation. Sign up here.
- March 15 – Our Advocacy Coordinator Thomas Grandjouan will be speaking at a webinar held by EURACTIV.pl, Disinformation IN/AGAINST the EU: How Fake News Becomes the News?. Don’t miss this one!
- 17 – 20 March – The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), which monitors and tracks media freedom violations, will host an online summit for journalists and free press advocates to discuss threats and trends across Europe. Read more and register here.
- 25 March – Team CommUNITY @ Article 19 is hosting a Community Knowledge Share online workshop introducing some tools and techniques for detecting disinformation. Sign up here.
- Facebook has announced they are bringing their News Accelerator initiative to Benelux publishers. Read more about the programme here.
- Democracy Reporting International is looking for a Social Media Visual Forensics Expert. This consultancy is part of a project to develop a number of resources to aid civil society analyse and monitor non-text media disinformation.
- S&D MEP Tiemo Wölken is looking for a Parliamentary Assistant with expertise in the field of digital politics and artificial intelligence
- EURACTIV is looking for an experienced reporter in the area of digital/tech.
- Facebook’s Oversight Board is hiring someone to monitor how Facebook and Instagram implement our decisions and policy recommendations. The full description is available on Linkedin.