Seminar for journalists:
Fighting Disinformation in Digital Age
How technology could be used or misused in electoral campaign? This was the main topic debated during the two-day event in the European Parliament (EP), organised by the European Science-media Hub/ the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) together with the Directorate-General for Communication of the EP. The event brought together politicians, scientists and journalists, representing media from all 28 EU Member states.
Targeted messages, automated bots, the use if algorithms by the big tech companies and the challenges of disinformation – the topics provoked interesting and lively discussions. In addition to the workshop, the European Science-Media Hub (ESMH) organised training event for the journalists provided by the project to fight mis- and disinformation online First Draft. The trainers Eoghan Sweeney and Phoebe Arnold explained technics for verification of online information and debunking of false news on the web, including essential verification exercises on tracing sources, geolocation and reverse image searches.
Carl Miller, Research Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos took a look into the fake news industry in Kosovo.
Eva Kaili, STOA Chair, highlighted the need for smart regulations that respond to challenges without curtailing freedoms. She argued that, while it is important that citizens understand the implications of highly customised newsfeeds, if some people want to receive tailored information based upon their profiles then they should be free to do so.
Sophie Lecheler, University of Vienna: “Big tech companies have become an important actor because they control the entrees to information and they are not being transparent.” She therefore argued that algorithm logic should be taught a journalist schools.