Gong is organizing the international conference “European Perspectives: The Impact of Disinformation on the Health of Democracy and the Digital Environment”, which will be held on May 19th from 9.30h to 13.00h, as part of the project “Pro-fact: Research, education, fact-check and debunk COVID-19 related disinformation narratives in Croatia”.
The conference, which will be held in English and live-streamed online via our Youtube channel and Facebook page, aims to gather European experts on disinformation, media, media literacy, democracy, and technology, in order to identify the European perspective and the potential solutions in facing the expansion of fake news in the digital sphere.
Although disinformation are not a new phenomenon, Europe has been facing an overwhelming amount of disinformation campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the health and lives of countless citizens. Despite the dangers of disinformation, big tech companies are doing little to control and prevent them, leading to demands for the regulation of large digital platforms. During the panel “Regulating Big Tech as a Vaccine Against Disinformation”, which starts at 10:10, European experts will present their unique experiences and knowledge of successful European practices and methods of combating misinformation. Since digital platforms are spaces where disinformation narratives spread and enter the offline world, making them dangerous for the health and safety of both citizens and democracy, the experts will determine how to regulate them. The panelists will be Lauri Tierala, program director of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), Dorota Głowacka, from the Panoptykon Foundation, Jan Penfrat, from the European Digital Rights Initiative, and Marijana Grbeša, a professor from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb, and a member of the Pro-fact team.
The health of a democracy is directly related to the health of the media ecosystem. However, growing financial and political pressure on the media, reduced citizen support for journalism, poor citizen media use, disinformation spreading on social media, and the emphasis on publishing speed, have endangered the media ecosystem across Europe, which can no longer play its key role of providing timely, correct and contextualized citizen informing in a democratic society. In the panel “How to Enhance Democracy by Strengthening the Media Ecosystem?”, which we open at 11:30h, the panelists will be Maja Sever, European Federation of Journalists and the Croatian Journalist Trade Union, Karina Stasiuk-Krajewska, from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS) and CEDMO hub, Ieva Ivanauskaitė, DIGIRES and Delfi.lt, Ana Brakus, Faktograf and Pro-fact, Mato Brautović, University of Dubrovnik and Pro-fact, and Dražen Hoffmann, Gong and Pro-fact.
The Project ‘Pro-fact: Research, education, fact-check and debunk COVID-19 related disinformation narratives in Croatia’ is tackling disinformation related to COVID-19 on multiple levels by a multidisciplinary and intersectoral approach. Through research, awareness-raising, and capacity-building methods, the project comprehensively approaches the social, political, and health problem of spreading disinformation campaigns related to COVID-19. Through its activities, it aims to effectively expose COVID-19 related disinformation campaigns in Croatia, strengthen the Croatian multidisciplinary team’s capacities for detecting and combating disinformation campaigns, and to increase the media literacy competencies of Croatian journalists and the general public.
The coordinator of the project is Gong, while the partner organisations are: the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb, The University of Dubrovnik, Faktograf.hr, and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing.