Disinfo News and Updates
- Nato Summit. NATO leaders gathered in Brussels yesterday for a resetting discussion on transatlantic security and collective defence. Cyber and hybrid challenges like disinformation campaigns and election interferrence were in focus, particularly with regards to Russia.
- Spam Attacks. Anti-vaxxers are spamming bars and restaurants that require proof of vaccination for indoor service with negative reviews and hate mail.
- Search Engine Slander. Google has announced it will change its algorithm to address the problem of online scammers who charge people for removing slanderous websites.
EU Policy Monitor
In the EU Institutions
- EU – US Summit. On Tuesday 15 June, President Joe Biden will be in Brussels to meet the two leaders of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen (Commission President) and Charles Michel (Council President). They are expected to launch a Trade & Tech Council with a chapter dedicated to “digital rights” and another on “digital rule book and regulation”, which would include plans to set up a “democratic digital technology caucus”
- European Parliament. Members of the special committee on Foreign Interference and Disinformation (INGE) are meeting this afternoon (Tuesday from 13.45 – 15.34) for a hearing on how history, culture and education can help counter disinformation, featuring: Nina Jankowicz (Wilson Center, Kennan Institute), Michael Butter (University of Tübingen), and former French minister Alan Lamassoure (Chair of the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe). See here for the agenda.
- Digital Services Act. Last week the Polish government wrote to the European Commission expressing its support for France’s draft content moderation regulation, which takes a broader scope than the DSA by including radical Islamic content.
In Member States
- Croatia. Croatia’s Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek signed a Global Pledge on Media Freedom acknowledging the escalation of misinformation during the pandemic and the need to strengthen professional journalism and media, particularly their small media market.
- Hungary. On Wednesday, the European Commission announced that it would open proceedings against the Hungarian government over the decision of the government-controlled Media Council to reject the independent radio station Klubrádió’s application to resume broadcasting after being forced off air in February.
EU DisinfoLab’s CIB Detection Tree is Growing: The Impact Assessment
EU DisinfoLab’s CIB Detection Tree has grown a third branch on potential impact assessment, developing a cross platform assessment and metrics to detect CIBs. This branch of the tree, like the others, was elaborated through careful study of the methodology used by non-platform actors to track CIB along with careful study of the takedown reports and anti-CIB policies used by the platforms.
These CIB Detection Tree resources are designed to assist researchers and non-platform actors in their investigations. Check out the third branch here, along with the first and second branches. And stay tuned for more to come!
Research, Policy Briefs, Commentary…
- Encrypted messaging applications (EMAs) like Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp are critical for private communications but are also used for mass public broadcasts. A Brookings policy brief looks at how to address disinformation on EMAs without weakening end-to-end encryption (E2EE) through backdoors. Here’s a hint: metadata-based forwarding limits.
- Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang writes in Rest of World about the practice of compromised accounts and autolikers programmes, “rare in the West, but common in the Global South.”
- In their “Drowning in Disinformation” series focusing on state-sponsored disinformation in the EU, the Heinrich Böll Foundation Brussels looks at the Hungarian context: “These campaigns follow a typical method of operation: they start from a single piece of information and end in some sort of discriminatory legislation against independent voices”.
- German NGO HateAid, who defends the rights of those affected by digital violence, has released their position on Digital Services Act. For them, the proposed text does not go far enough in enforcing the right to access to justice.
Events and Announcements
- 16 – 17 June: The WeVerify project is hosting a free two-day workshop and tech demo on AI to counter disinformation. More info here.
- 24 June: Avaaz is hosting an online conference on the new Code of Practice and the Digital Services Act : “Towards a Paris Agreement for Disinformation? Register here.
- 28 – 29 June: The EU Fundamental Rights Agency FRA is hosting an online panel and workshops for Human Rights communication stakeholders on how to navigate disinformation. More here.
- 15 – 17 September: International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress 2021 will take place in Vienna and online
- GIJN, the Global Investigative Journalism Network, is launching new advisory services, resources, and tools for watchdog journalists.
- The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Best Practice Forum on Gender and Digital Rights is beginning work on the concept of gendered disinformation. Learn more about their work here, contribute to their survey, or attend their next meeting on June 25.
- Twitter is looking for a Policy Domain Specialist in Misinformation.
- Access Now is hiring for several positions including Communications Associate.
- RIPE NCC, the European regional Internet registry, is hiring for several positions.
- Digital Action is looking for a Campaigns Adviser on democracy and technology.
- The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) is seeking to hire an associate editor.
- News literacy organisation Lie Detectors is recruiting trainees for a spring/summer 2021 start date.