IGF 2018 WS #415 Countering misinformation online: policies and solutions
Organizer 1: Sadaf Khan, Media Matters for Democracy
Organizer 2: Asad Baig, Media Matters for Democracy
Organizer 3: Talal Raza, Media Matters for Democracy Pakistan
Speaker 1: Ellery Biddle, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Padraig Hughes, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Sheen Handoo, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Asad Baig, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Anja Kovacs, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
The internet is a truly amazing medium that has completely revolutionised the information landscape across the world. However, the same technology has also been used to facilitate the spread of fake news and misinformation. These stories are no longer limited to random hoax messages of even phishing scams but have now been organised and mobilised in such manners that they have had direct impacts on political decision making. Not only does the internet lends itself to the dissemination of misinformation at next to no cost, but, the presence of big data and the lack of transparency around corporate policies mean that this data can be used to target the most vulnerable audience. However, policy interventions are challenging. How does one crack down on ‘trolls’ without taking away the right to anonymity? If the right to freedom of expression is recognised and celebrated, can pieces of fake news, that are not defamatory, contemptuous or inciting violence really be targeted by regulators without compromising on principles of proptionality? How do you legislate against a phonomena where one piece of content might mean nothing but can do harm as a [art of a larger group? In this panel we will explore the impact of misinformation on journalism, political decision making and discuss how to legislate and create corporate policies around this issue without compromising on the basic right of freedom of expression.
Intended Agenda of the Session Introduction, Sadaf Khan, MMfD (5 minutes) - Misinformation and journalism, Ellery, Global Voices (5 minutes) - Misinformation and political decision making, Anja Kovacs, Internet Democracy Project (5 minutes) The conflict of regulating misinformation while protecting freedom of expression - Asad Baig, MMfD (5 minutes) Moderator Q & A with speakers (10 minutes) Audience engagement (20 minutes) The balancing act for Facebook, Sheen, Facebook (5 minutes) Balancing FoE and misinformation - an overview of related state legislation, Padrig Hughes, Media Legal Defence Initiative (5 minutes) Moderator Q & A with speakers (10 minutes) Audience engagement (20 minutes)
The panel is divided into two main sections - first civil society representatives including those from digital rights organisations and media organisations would present different dimensions of the challenge and explore why it is challenging to legislate around misinformation related challenges. The second phase includes corporate perspective from Facebook, identifying key challenges of content regulation through intermediary policies applied by platforms like Facebook. In both sessions, the speakers will be using presentations to explain the issues to participants. The moderator will connect the panelists on email before IGF starts so everyone can share and discuss presentation and talking points. This connection will help ensure that each speaker is able to bring unique and different perspectives to the panel and there isn't any unnecessary repetition of points. Ten minutes allotted fro initial question and answers by the moderator leading into audience engagement sessions will help create a conversational tone,which lends itself well to interesting and effective participation.
The proposed panel includes three women and the onsite moderator is also a woman. With its current composition, the panel includes a higher number of women. Three regional groups are represented in the speakers list. Different stakeholder communities including media, civil society and private sector are also represented. We do not have a confirmed government speaker on the panel yet, however, we have reached out to one and if confirmed we will also be able to add the government perspective. The panel consists mostly of young professionals, which fulfils the inclusion of youth criteria. We hope that our online engagement strategy, that is to be implemented a week before the session, will help us get more diversity in remote participants as well.
The preparation for online participation will begin before IGF - MMfD will be creating teasers, infographics and digital posters for its social media followers inviting discussion on the theme. Brief polls will also be created on Twitter and Facebook to encourage interaction from MMfD's online followers on the theme. This brief engagement campaign will lead to details about remote participation and solicitation of any questions that people have for the panel speakers. We will also try and engage one or more of the speakers in a pre-even FB or Twitter interview to plug into their social media base, increasing the chance of remote participation from a higher number of people who are directly interested in the theme. At the time of the event, the online moderator would continue to engage with the remote participants and ensure that teh onsite moderator picks up their comments and questions and puts them forward to the speaker.
Fake News is a phenomena that has a direct impact on all internet users. Thus, we are expecting robust engagement from audience members. To make sure that this engagement goes beyond simple experience sharing, the moderator will also ask questions of the audience, ensuring that expertise and experiences shared during the session are not limited to those of the panelists alone. As detailed in the agenda, a total of 40 minutes have been allocated for audience engagement in two separate slots. We hope that the format of this panel i.e. two sets of experts engagement and panel discussion will help participants frame their thoughts better and allow them to have more room for meaningful engagement.