IGF 2020 WS #331 Disinformation, health and elections in Latin America

Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Olivia Bandeira, Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social
Organizer 2: Bia Barbosa, Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social
Organizer 3: Jonas Valente, Intervozes

Speaker 1: Gustavo Gomez, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Jamila Venturini, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Helena Martins, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Moderator

Olivia Bandeira, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Bia Barbosa, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Rapporteur

Jonas Valente, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Format

Round Table - Circle - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

How can the debate on content moderation minimize the effects of disinformation without compromising freedom of expression, helping to restore trust in information exchange technologies? What contributions and issues for content regulation emerge from a Latin American perspective?

The workshop aims to discuss how disinformation is operated in some countries in Latin America and the measures being taken by digital platforms and governments to minimize its effects. It also aims to present the results of recent researches on the topic, from a Latin American perspective, and offer recommendations to governments and digital platforms on how to deal with the problem while protecting freedom of expression and human rights. Researchers and international organizations have used the term disinformation to emphasize the intentionality in the production and propagation of false, misleading, or decontextualized information to provoke communicational disorder and, thus, obtain economic and/or political gains. In 2020, two moments are central to the observation of the modus operandi and the consequences of disinformation: the COVID-19 pandemic and the elections that take place in some countries. Digital platforms have taken specific measures to deal with the ongoing pandemic and to prepare for the upcoming elections. Many of these measures, however, run the risk of being developed unilaterally, compromising freedom of expression and human rights, which requires a discussion that involves the whole society.

SDGs

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Description:

This workshop addresses the phenomenon of disinformation and how it manifests itself in Latin America, considering the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections in some countries. The panelists will present and discuss recent researches that show the agents and strategies adopted for the dissemination of disinformation, the consequences of the phenomenon, the measures adopted by the major digital platforms, as well as the actions that are being planned by the legislative power and the judiciary of some Latin American countries. It also intends to involve the audience in the debate about public policies to deal with the problem.

Expected Outcomes

The panel aims to discuss different perspectives on the effects of disinformation and on the measures taken to minimize them, in search of consensus to help tackle the phenomenon without compromising freedom of expression, human rights and other principles that guide the internet governance. Both public and private solutions to deal with disinformation emphasize the sharing of information by end-users, ignoring the role of the prevailing data-centric business model in this process, the use of personal data and the whole chain of private actors involved in the spreading of disinformation. By analyzing empirical research and discussing regulatory solutions proposed, the panel aims to strengthen the network that allows civil society, academia and multi-stakeholder agencies to work together and to create an agenda to disseminate a democratic vision in the fight against disinformation. This agenda should consider activities such as: meetings with public authorities and national parliaments; meetings with multilateral organizations in the region; meetings with representatives of digital platforms in the region; multisectoral monitoring of electoral processes in the region.

The moderator will have the role of provoking the face-to-face and remote audience to deepen the topics presented by the debaters. The communication channels of the participating entities will be used to attract the remote audience.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The impact of disinformation on democracy, public debate, health, and the right to access information has led digital platforms and governments to start taking a series of measures to deal with the problem. However, many of these measures may end up violating fundamental principles of internet governance, such as freedom of expression, privacy and respect for human rights, net neutrality, non-accountability of the network, and democratic and collaborative governance. By placing actors from Latin America to discuss the topic, this workshop aims to contribute to a regional perspective on the topic of disinformation, making the debate on Internet Governance more open and democratic.

Relevance to Theme: The internet is an essential tool for democracy, freedom of expression, and access to information. However, the circulation of information is increasingly concentrated on large digital platforms, which have their own rules for moderating content that are not always transparent. On the other hand, governments around the world try to authoritatively control the regulation of the sector. For the internet to work freely and openly, the trust of the users is fundamental. For this reason, the debate on disinformation and moderation of content must be carried out with the participation of the whole society.

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: The communication channels of the participating entities will be used to attract the remote audience.