Mark your calendar! EU DisinfoLab’s 2021 Annual Conference will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 26 & 27, at the Renaissance Hotel in Brussels. 

Disinfo News and Updates

  • Net Neutrality Astroturfing Campaign. Last week, the New York Attorney General released a report detailing a set of campaigns that deployed millions of fake comments to influence the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 repeal of Net Neutrality.
  • Christchurch Call. The United States joins the Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online, launched after the attacks of March 2019 in New Zealand.
  • UN Cybercrime Treaty. The Organizational session of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee to Elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Cybercrime – first proposed by the Russian government – kicked off in New York yesterday, to the concern of human rights defenders.
  • Platforms Governing. Twitter received a record number of responses (49,000 globally in 14 languages) to its survey on how it should deal with world leaders on the platform. Facebook’s Oversight Board received over 9,000 comments on Donald Trump decision.

EU Policy Monitor

In the EU Institutions

  • NIS 2. The Parliament published the draft report by MEP Bart Groothuis for the Industry Committee (Itre) on the Revised Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS 2). Inter alia, the report requests that access to the contact details of domain name holders (‘WHOIS’ data) be allowed in the GDPR for cybersecurity purposes. The report will be presented in committee on May 26.
  • Gender. In its draft report, the Civil Liberties Committee called for gender-based violence to be included in the list of criminal offences at the EU level. If accepted, this addition would likely also apply to the regulation of online hate content.
  • INGE Committee. Yesterday the Parliamentary Committee on Disinformation heard from the European Public Policy representatives of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. View the agenda here and the video stream.

In Member States

  • France. As part of its counter-terrorism efforts, the French government may allow the use of algorithms to detect allegedly extremist activity online, for instance, repeated searches for the topic of beheadings.
  • Germany. The media authority Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (MABB) initiated proceedings against the junk news website for its failure to meet journalistic standards.

Save the Date for our Annual Conference! 

EU DisinfoLab’s annual conference will take place this year on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 26 and 27, at the Renaissance Hotel in Brussels. We feel this event is an important opportunity for us to gather as a community, so we are currently planning an in-person event. If the sanitary measures do not allow for a physical conference, we will hold a virtual event at the same time.

Pre-registration will open in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for updates here and on our conference webpage, where you can also take a look at the provisional programme.

Research, Reports, Long Reads …

  • Cynthia Khoo has a comprehensive report examining liability of digital platforms for “TFGBV”, or technology-facilitated gender-based violence, abuse, and harassment. Titled “Deplatforming Misogyny”, the report has broad implications for platform governance. See her Twitter thread.
  • The International Press Institute interviews Ieva Ivanauskaitė, head of business development at the Lithuanian news portal Delfi, on her investigation of the funding behind disinformation in the Baltics.
  • Jennie King of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue has investigated how far right extremists are turning their attacks on the Green agenda. 

Events and Announcements

  • May 11 – 12 (Today & Tomorrow): The Portuguese Council Presidency is hosting a High-Level Conference on AI and journalism, including a panel on disinformation. See the full programme and register here.
  • May 11 (14h CEST Today): The latest Mozilla Mornings on the DSA will focus on “Setting the standard for third-party platform auditing”. Register here.
  • June 22 – 25: EU DisinfoLab will host a Community Lab at RightsCon this year: “Gender and disinformation: towards a gender-based approach”. Registration here.