We have the pleasure to confirm that Sir Julian King, EU Commissioner for the Security Union, will be concluding the debates of the Annual EU DisinfoLab Conference on 29 May in Brussels.
You can have a look at the updated program here. Hurry up – only few seats left! #Disinfo2019.
Reconsidering a business model?
It seems that even top executives of social media platforms are reconsidering their business models. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, has published an opinion in the New York Times magazine, describing the recent actions taken by Google in terms of privacy and data protection. Also, in New York Times, Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, has said that the company has become so big and powerful that it threatens our democracy. However, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs and communications has responded that dismantling Facebook won’t fix what’s wrong with social media. Could the answer lie in competition? According to the EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, “Access to data has to be redesigned so that newcomers can compete with big tech giants.”
Who are the judges?
Recently, Singapore’s parliament has passed a legislation against “fake news”, that will require online media platforms to carry corrections or remove content the government considers to be false. Google and Facebook have declared that the new law would give too much power to the government to decide on whether the information is truthful. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said the law could be subject to abuse. According to Phil Robertson from Human Rights Watch, the law will create a “chilling effect on internet freedom throughout Southeast Asia, and likely start a new set of information wars as [Singapore’s leaders] try to impose their narrow version of ‘truth’ on the wider world.”
EU elections news and fact-checks of the week
- Facebook has implemented concrete measures allowing the European Parliament and European political groups to buy political advertising throughout the EU.
- Two new studies from Cardiff University’s Crime and Security Research Institute have revealed evidence of Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency’s long-term interest in European politics and elections.
- Mozilla has released a toolkit aiming to spot potential online interference ahead of the European Parliament elections.
- After a careful investigation by the NGO Avaaz, Facebook took down 23 Italian pages with 2.4 million followers spreading false news and hatred online.
- The French Ambassador for Digital Affairs has launched a new platform to identify, analyse and combat disinformation online in real time.
- Twitter has published its annual transparency report. Here you can find some of the most important and interesting trends Twitter has observed between July and December 2018.
- Google Search is getting an upgrade with better news coverage and now, podcast indexing.
- Facebook Newsroom has announced the removal of more coordinated inauthentic behavior from Russia particularly targeting Ukraine.
- Recently, in Silicon Valley, four victims of fake news have met with Twitter and Facebook tech executives. During the meeting organised by advocacy group Avaaz the victims have discussed what they’ve been through and what they want tech companies to do about the growing problem of disinformation online.
- The Global Disinformation Index has published a report pointing out that major brands’ advertisements are unwillingly fueling the disinformation ecosystem.
Calendar and announcements
- In the framework of the Erasmus + project called ‘Open Your Eyes’, we have launched a survey dedicated to projets promoting media literacy. If you are working on the subject, please take a few minutes to fill in the survey.
- We have published an article gathering some of the academic sources that might be useful to students, researchers and everyone interested in the topic of disinformation. Want to contribute?Contact us!
- The DisinfoPortal has launched its newsletter – The Drop, bringing insights and analysis on disinformation.
- 20 May: The Computational Propaganda Project of the Oxford Internet Institute organises a webinar that will present its findings about the diffusion and impact of online misinformation on European elections.
- 28-29 May @ Brussels: EU Commissioner to the Security Union, Sir Julian King will be concluding the debates of the Annual EU DisinfoLab Conference.
- 6-7 June @ Brussels: Annual Conference on European Media Law 2019.
- 19-20 June @ UNESCO Headquarters in Paris: 63rd meeting of the International Programme for the Development of Communication.