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Some points from the EC report on disinformation

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Presentation given by Sheila Webber (Sheila Yoshikawa in Second Life) as part of a Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable in the 3D virtal world Second Life (tm Linden Labs) on April 12 2018. The report itself is at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/final-report-high-level-expert-group-fake-news-and-online-disinformation

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Some points from the EC report on disinformation

  1. 1. Some points from the EC report on disinformation Sheila Yoshikawa/ Sheila Webber April 2018 https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/final-report-high-level-expert-group-fake-news-and-online-disinformation
  2. 2. • Example of a more substantial international effort • Group set up by European Commission in January 2018 “to advise on policy initiatives to counter fake news and disinformation spread online” • 39 members: media/communications academics; media organisations (e.g. Facebook, Bertelsmann, Sky); fact-checking organisations; citizen groups Sheila Webber, 2018
  3. 3. Disinformation defined • Includes all forms of false, inaccurate, or misleading information designed, presented and promoted to intentionally cause public harm or for profit • Excludes illegal content & also satire and parody • Avoids term “fake news” on grounds that this has been misappropriated to mean anything disagreeable to someone Sheila Webber, 2018
  4. 4. Issues such as: • Politicians/ governments may spread disinformation: also may not support a free press which would enable many points of view • Some news media do not have high journalistic standards • Citizens may spread disinformation “highly polarized societies with low levels of trust provide a fertile ground for the production and circulation of ideologically motivated disinformation” • Digital media makes it all more complicated Sheila Webber, 2018
  5. 5. No “simple solution” Proposed strategy based on: 1. Enhancing transparency of online news 2. Promoting media and information literacy 3. Developings tools to help people/ journalists tackle disinformation 4. “Safeguard the diversity and sustainability of the European news media ecosystem” 5. More research Sheila Webber, 2018
  6. 6. Step 1: short term • Forming a coalition of stakeholders (media companies; factchecking agencies; academic experts etc.) to draw up a self-regulation Code of Practices & ensure implementation & review • Review whether this is working after a year • Governments/ EU support development of a network of independent European Centres for (academic) research on disinformation + a central Centre of Excellence Sheila Webber, 2018
  7. 7. • The European Commission “Sharpen actions in support of media and information literacy for all citizens and the promotion of media literacy in EU curricula reforms” • Individual countries similarly • Pay more attention to developing MIL strategies & education for all population groups • “Refrain from interfering with the editorial independence of media” & encourage a pluralist media scene • News media organisations cooperating to develop MIL and e.g. “continue investing in quality journalisms and equip newsrooms with professional automatic content verification tools” Step 2: Longer term Sheila Webber, 2018
  8. 8. In virtual worlds..... Are these proposed strategy points relevant? Could we do anything about them? 1. Enhancing transparency of online news 2. Promoting media and information literacy 3. Developings tools to help people/ journalists tackle disinformation 4. “Safeguard the diversity and sustainability of the European news media ecosystem” 5. More research into disinformation Sheila Webber, 2018

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