IGF 2020 OF #25 Freedom Online Coalition Open Forum

Time
Thursday, 5th November, 2020 (13:50 UTC) - Thursday, 5th November, 2020 (14:50 UTC)
Room
Room 2
About this Session
This panel discussion will explore the challenges and opportunities faced by Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) Members in promoting human rights-based approaches to managing the growing malign threat of online disinformation.
Theme
Subtheme

Panel - Auditorium - 60 Min

Description

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) is concerned about the growing threat of disinformation. Disinformation can challenge the right to freedom of opinion and expression, necessary for the access of free, plural and reliable information constitutive of democracy. Disinformation can erode trust in public information and democratic institutions, fracture community cohesion, polarise society and, in the most extreme cases, constitute incitement to hatred and threaten public health and safety. State-sponsored disinformation campaigns are sometimes a part of military strategies and hybrid threats. This panel discussion will explore the challenges and opportunities faced by FOC Members in promoting human rights-based approaches to managing the growing malign threat of online disinformation.

An FOC Joint Statement on the Spread of Disinformation Online is currently being developed by the Governments of Finland and the UK. The statement will provide the basis for this panel discussion, featuring Members of the FOC and the multistakeholder FOC Advisory Network. Finland is also the incoming Chair for the FOC for 2021 and this open forum will provide an opportunity to learn more about the Coalition's work and its policy priorities and key issue areas.

Organizers

Global Partners Digital
Rauno Merisaari, Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Speakers
  • Rauno Merisaari, Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland
  • Campbell Davis, Head of Digital Policy, Cyber Policy Department, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, United Kingdom
  • Akua Gyekye, Regional Lead for Strategic Response, Middle East and Africa, Facebook
Onsite Moderator

Lea Kaspar

Online Moderator

Zora Gouhary

Rapporteur

Minna Penttila

SDGs

GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

1. Key Policy Questions and related issues
Disinformation
2. Summary of Issues Discussed

The FOC is developing a Joint Statement on Spread of Online Disinformation. This discussion focused on disinformation around elections and content moderation efforts by governments and private sector alike. Speakers included representatives from the governments of Finland and the UK and a representative from Facebook. All speakers agreed that multistakeholder approach is needed to battle disinformation in a way that is in line with the international human rights law.

3. Key Takeaways

The governments of the FOC, working closely with the multistakeholder FOC Advisory Network, will publish the Joint Statement on Spread of Online Disinformation in the coming weeks. The statement will include a call to action to governments, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders. The FOC has identified disinformation as one of the priority policy issues in 2021 and will continue to work on the topic in relevant international processes and forums.