IGF 2018 WS #401 Media, Disinformation and Elections: Lessons from Mexico


Organizer 1: Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 2: Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

On June 5, 2018 the General Assembly of the Organization of American States mandated the IACHR Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression to issue recommendations to counter the spread of online disinformation during elections and identify best practices and government responses respectful of fundamental principles of freedom of expression and privacy, as outlined by the Joint Declaration Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and "Fake News", Disinformation and Propaganda. The workshop will examine measures taken by different stakeholders (government, media, online platforms, civil society and international observers) for addressing disinformation and “fake news” during Mexican general elections scheduled for 1 July 2018, reflect on their effectiveness and identify practices that could be replicated by actors in other countries in the Americas. In particular, it will ask how disinformation impacted the general elections in Mexico, what type of measures were implemented to counter them and what lessons can be learned from them, particularly what new actions are advised. The workshop will help the Office of the Special Rapporteur to collect views from different stakeholders on the effectiveness of these measures to support a future report to advise OAS member States on policy initiatives to counter disinformation. The issue has been addressed in different workshops during 2017 IGF. See, #301 Fake news, Content Regulation and Platformization of the Web: A Global South Perspective and #197 Fighting Fake News, Protecting Free Speech: Global Perspectives on Combatting Online Misinformation.


Round Table - 90 Min


Edison Lanza is the OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. On 2017 he joined other global and regional experts to adopting the Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and "Fake News", Disinformation and Propaganda, a leading document with recommendations for addressing disinformation from a human rights perspectives. He has received a mandate by the OAS general Assembly to advise member states on policy initiatives to address the issue.

Lorenzo Cordova, President of the Mexican National Institute of Elections (INE), autonomous government entity responsible for organizing federal elections in Mexico.

Verificado2018 (TBC), media project dedicated to fact check and report disinformation during the Mexican general elections.

Gerardo De Icaza, Acting Secretary for Strengthening Democracy of the OAS. The OAS in charge of conducting electoral observations missions in the Americas, and it will participate as international observer during 2018 Mexican elections. Observations include the analysis of key aspects of the electoral cycle such access to media and the spread of information.

Facebook or other industry representative (TBC), will be able to bring perspectives of platforms' efforts to counter online disinformation during elections.


We will ensure major stakeholders participation by bringing together members of civil society, business and government
and a balance in gender in the discussions. The roundtable will also provide a unique opportunity for OAS electoral observers and Mexican electoral government bodies to participate in IGF discussions. The discussion will be focused on the problem of disinformation in the Global South

Introduction by Edison Lanza – 5m
Round of presentations by the speakers – TOTAL - 40m
Edison Lanza, OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression - 8m. Mr. Lanza will address the topic from the human rights perspectives and explore the challenges to freedom of expression posed by disinformation during elections and the recommendations made by human rights experts to ensure measures taken by various stakeholders are consistent with free expression principles.
Lorenzo Cordova, President of the Mexican National Institute of Elections (INE) – 8m. Mr. Cordoba will address the impact of disinformation during Mexican elections, measures taken by government authorities, and assessment of pros and cons of those approaches.
Verificado2018, Fact checking media effort- 8m. TBC. She will talk about the project Verificado2018 and reflect on the project’s approach and results.
Gerardo De Icaza, Acting Secretary for Strengthening Democracy of the OAS - 8m. Mr. De Icaza will comment on the impact of disinformation and measures taken to counter it during the Mexican elections and how that compares to other Latin American elections held in 2018 when the OAS conducted electoral missions.
Facebook or other industry representative (TBC) – 8m. Challenges faced by platforms during Mexican elections, approaches taken and ongoing concerns.
Open Debate – Total 45m Questions and contributions by the audience and participants and discussion by speakers.

Discussion Facilitation: 

We propose a 90 minute roundtable discussion format, comprised of a round of oral presentations with discussion with attendees seated around tables, followed by 45 minutes of discussion and feedback. Roundtable presenters will bring targeted questions to pose to others at the table in order to learn from and with those attending.

Online Participation: 

We will use the existing OAS websites and mailing lists to gather interested online participants, channeling them into the official IGF WebEx environment to participate in the session. It will also be possible for these online participants to submit contributions to the session in advance by email.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678