Policy Papers & Briefings

World Group on Infodemics: Policy Framework (Forum on Information and Democracy)

Created at the end of 2019 by eleven organizations, research centers and think tanks, the Forum aims at implementing the Partnership, now signed by 38 countries. It launched its inaugural working group on infodemics in June 2020.At a meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism, bringing together 50 foreign ministers at the instigation of the French and German ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maas, many representatives welcomed the creation of this working group and gave assurance of waiting for its recommendations.This report is the fruit of the work of a Steering commitee, co-chaired by Maria Ressa and Marietje Schaake, dozens of researchers and lawyers all over the planet, whose efforts have been synthesized by a team of rapporteurs. I would like to pay particular tribute to all of them.The Information and Democracy Initiative demonstrates that a structural solution is possible to end the informational chaos that poses a vital threat to democracies. The exercise of human rights, presupposes that democratic systems impose rules on the entities that create the standards and the architectures of choice in the digital space.This initiative demonstrates a capacity for reinventing multilateralism, with an innovative articulation between States and civil society. Initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), this process resulted in an intergovernmental text.

The way forward to tackle disinformation: Regulatory proposals for the online information ecosystem (EU Disinfo Lab)

In the meantime, attempts at regulation on content moderation by EU Member States are criticized for intruding on citizen’s rights and infringing on freedom of speech. Therefore, we advocate for a strong co-regulatory approach targeting the content distribution processes rather than content itself[5]. This would be complemented by oversight from a regulatory body with enforcement powers, similar to the structured co-regulatory framework detailed by the French Mission’s report on “Creating a French framework to make social media platforms more accountable.

Tackling disinformation around the world: A new policy report (WAN-IFRA)

WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, has released a new report that looks at the global map of remedies adopted by governments whose objective is to combat the disinformation crisis, though with extremely diverse intent and effects.

Issue Brief: The “Demand Side” of the Disinformation Crisis (National Endowment for Democracy – NED)

  • The cognitive factors which make audiences vulnerable to disinformation

  • Technological factors driving the consumption and spread of disinformation

  • Implications of disinformation’s “demand side” for the democratic response

Right to be Forgotten

The so-called “Right to be Forgotten” (RTBF) is a highly nuanced legal principle that, within the European context, enables an individual to request personally identifiable information be scrubbed from content to render it less accessible (known as “erasure”), and/or have the content removed from a search engine index (known as “delisting”). Other forms include fully removing content from the Internet. While the concept emerged out of a European legal tradition that favors the privacy of non-public individuals, in practice it has led to the censorship of information relevant to the public interest. It has endangered press freedom by leading to the removal of news articles, and it has hindered media development by erasing content from the digital public record.

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