IGF 2020 WS #218 Climate Change Disinformation - Beyond Confusion, Action

Time
Tuesday, 10th November, 2020 (10:20 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th November, 2020 (11:20 UTC)
Room
Room 2
Thematic Track
Topic(s)

Organizer 1: Grassi Ricardo, IPS Academy
Organizer 2: Bhanu Neupane, UNESCO

Speaker 1: Martina Klimes, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Kahumbu Paula, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Caldas Astrid, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization

Moderator

Grassi Ricardo, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization

Online Moderator

Grassi Ricardo, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization

Rapporteur

Bhanu Neupane, Intergovernmental Organization, Asia-Pacific Group

Format

Break-out Group Discussions - Flexible Seating - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

Key Policy Questions: 1. How are existing and emerging digital technologies being used to facilitate the production and dissemination of disinformation about climate change? 2. How can the same technologies be used to combat disinformation and circulate verified scientific information to the general public? 3. What sort of policies/regulations can be formulated to combat climate change disinformation facilitated by technologies?

1. Description: Anthropological climate change is threatening the survival of humanity. In the fight against climate change, disinformation is a spanner in the works. Climate change disinformation downplays the severity of climate change and humanity’s role in exacerbating the consequences. If disinformation is believed, individuals may be discouraged from acting to reduce their environmental impact, slowing down our fight against climate change. The Internet, especially social media platforms, has become a major vector of climate change disinformation, and emerging technologies have been misused to produce and further disseminate disinformation. As part of the fight against climate change, it is important to address the two key suppliers of information – the producers and the disseminators. Supply-side solutions work on the suppliers of information, to curb the production of false information, remove it from circulation or prevent its spread by yielding more true information. Avenues for Problems and Solutions There are measures which respond to disinformation from both types of information producers. Legal and political regulation strategies can discourage and punish dissemination of disinformation. For example, media platforms can also commit to self-regulatory standards, such as the European Commission’s Code of Practice on Disinformation. The Code of Practice includes measures such as removing fake accounts and limiting the visibility of sites that promote disinformation, and was signed by Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others. Social media companies can also make use of AI enabled engine and algorithms to identify and address disinformation. Facebook, for example, now reviews little-known websites whose articles get sudden surges of traffic, which is a red flag for misinformation and clickbait Finally, producing true information helps to consistently communicate facts in an approachable way in order to build up a resilient reality that citizens should understand before encountering false information. In this effort, independent and quality media are key. An example is Fact Avalanche, an online tool that alerts participants when a false tweet about climate change is released, and invites them to respond using proven scientific facts, to “bury” disinformation under truth. Relevance The potential contributions of Internet and digital technologies on the fight against climate change have been often touted, particularly its ability to provide information and avenues for collaboration, facilitating understanding and ultimately action. Our workshop aims to explore the opposing side to this phenomenon, which is emerging as a potent force; the use of the Internet to foster disinformation and discourage serious action against the climate threat. This misuse of Internet and digital technologies is an area that needs to be subject to more governance, both in terms of self-regulation and innovative responses from the private sector, and potentially policymaking from governments.

SDGs

GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Description:

This workshop is co-organized by UNESCO Paris and IPS Academy. Description: Anthropological climate change is threatening the survival of humanity. In the fight against climate change, disinformation is a spanner in the works. Climate change disinformation downplays the severity of climate change and humanity’s role in exacerbating the consequences. If disinformation is believed, individuals may be discouraged from acting to reduce their environmental impact, slowing down our fight against climate change. The Internet, especially social media platforms, has become a major vector of climate change disinformation, and emerging technologies have been misused to produce and further disseminate disinformation. As part of the fight against climate change, it is important to address the two key suppliers of information – the producers and the disseminators. Supply-side solutions work on the suppliers of information, to curb the production of false information, remove it from circulation or prevent its spread by yielding more true information. Workshop Format: The workshop will be conducted in a Panel Format where a diversity of experts, journalists and climate scientists will explore climate change disinformation and the various implications. The diverse stakeholders invested in climate change information, including journalists, climate activists, academics will discuss the phenomena of climate disinformation and how they, in their various fields, observe this phenomenon and are affected by it, as well as some measures that can be taken. They will also further explore the supply side aspect of climate change disinformation and discuss various information management strategies that can advocate for accurate information. These stakeholders will give a concise 10 minute presentation (presuming there are 5 speakers) and then proceed to a 40 minute panel discussion on the topic with questions from the floor.

Expected Outcomes

--To facilitate an open dialogue between policy makers and experts regarding the forms and implications of climate change disinformation. --Discuss the current platforms and available resources that monitor and fact-check information. As well as discuss ways to formulate a strategy for information dissemination that overrides any disinformation. --Explore the prospects of forming new collaborations and long-term projects that propel accurate information surrounding climate change, particularly initiatives making use of Internet and new technologies.

The stakeholders will give a concise 10 minute presentation (presuming there are 5 speakers) and then proceed to a 40 minute panel discussion on the topic with questions from the floor.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The potential contributions of Internet and digital technologies on the fight against climate change have been often touted, particularly its ability to provide information and avenues for collaboration, facilitating understanding and ultimately action. Our workshop aims to explore the opposing side to this phenomenon, which is emerging as a potent force; the use of the Internet to foster disinformation and discourage serious action against the climate threat. This misuse of Internet and digital technologies is an area that needs to be subject to more governance, both in terms of self-regulation and innovative responses from the private sector, and potentially policymaking from governments.

Relevance to Theme: 1. Avenues for Problems and Solutions There are measures which respond to disinformation from both types of information producers. Legal and political regulation strategies can discourage and punish dissemination of disinformation. For example, media platforms can also commit to self-regulatory standards, such as the European Commission’s Code of Practice on Disinformation. The Code of Practice includes measures such as removing fake accounts and limiting the visibility of sites that promote disinformation, and was signed by Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others. Social media companies can also make use of AI enabled engine and algorithms to identify and address disinformation. Facebook, for example, now reviews little-known websites whose articles get sudden surges of traffic, which is a red flag for misinformation and clickbait Finally, producing true information helps to consistently communicate facts in an approachable way in order to build up a resilient reality that citizens should understand before encountering false information. In this effort, independent and quality media are key. An example is Fact Avalanche, an online tool that alerts participants when a false tweet about climate change is released, and invites them to respond using proven scientific facts, to “bury” disinformation under truth.

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: Yet to be defined. E.G.: YouTube - The objective is facilitating the participation of broad public worldwide.