IGF 2021 - Day 3 - Town Hall #15 EDMO: A multi-stakeholder approach to tackling online disinformation

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> We all live in a digital world.  We all need it to be open and safe.

We all want to trust and to be trusted.

We all despise control and desire freedom.

We are all united.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you for joining.  I am not able to join with Zoom.  Now I am trying to open it, so I hope to see you.

Welcome to the session we have organized as EDMO, a multi-stakeholder approach to tackling online disinformation.  We are in Ballroom C.  I am here in presence, while the other participants are connecting from abroad, and I think that we have all the participants here, I hope.  Krisztina is here, Lubos, okay, we are all present here.

Let's start immediately.  The session of today is to conclude a discussion that was started in the previous IGF, in which we were participating in many initiatives, trying to say we can tackle disinformation, how we can concretely do something in the initiatives, of the institutions and the civil society and of the media in order to tackle disinformation.  One of the most promising things that were announced here at the IGF was the European Union initiatives in this sense.

We had the speakers announcing at high level that something complete will be done.  And today, I am proud to be here, because one of these initiatives has been concretized at EDMO, that is the European Digital Media Observatory based in Florence.  And after some months of action and preparation, now EDMO is listening more about how it works and how it fits into the strategy of the European Union to tackle disinformation.  In order to put this in a frame, we have as main speaker now, Krisztina Stump, for this topic.  If you are ready, the floor is yours.  We have the slides here.  We can originate from here, if you want, or you can share the screen, if you prefer.  Please let us know.

>> KRISZTINA STUMP:  Thank you.  No, I don't manage to share my screen, it is disabled, so thank you very much.  It is my pleasure to discuss this important topic.  These are excellent speakers.  What I wanted to do before diving into the important subject of EDMO, I wanted to outline in broader strokes the European Commission's strategy to fight disinformation.

One of the key elements of this strategy is the code of practice on disinformation, about probably many of heard.  This is signed by major online platforms like Facebook, Google, TikTok, and their advertising sector.  There is a set of measures to reduce dissemination of misinformation on their platforms.  This is an instrument in operation since 2018, and the Commission assess wad a success has been.  We concluded it has important results.  We concluded it needs strengthening to be a more efficient instrument to fight disinformation in particular in view of today's challenges.  That's why we have issued in May this year, the guidance of the code of practice.

What we have done in the guidance is to set out regarding all areas of the code the Commission expectations from the signatories to strengthen the code.  We set out clearly that needs to be done regarding advertising placement, also political advertising, also measures to strengthen and empower users to make sure they have more information available to recognize disinformation, also deflect disinformation, and it is also key to increase the coverage of fact checking to improve the corporation with fact checkers and researchers, also to provide more data for researchers, because these remain important problems.  I want to stress there is an important link between the guidance and the fact checking and research.

The strengthened code, there's more players joining.  26 new entities joining the code, including mall online platforms, also fact checkers or other organizations that can contribute to fight disinformation.  But it is important to mention in this context, it is also the digital Services Act proposed by the European Commission is changing the nature of the code of practice.  The idea is that the code of practice would change to a co-regulatory instrument for large online platforms, which means risk mitigation obligations.  There will be an enforcement mechanism behind the code for very large online platforms to make sure they fulfill their commitment in the code.

This will be a big change.  Then, it is important to outline the broad strokes.  The other initiatives of the Commission that are important in this regard, this is also the legislative proposal regarding advertising that's been published recently and contains transparency obligations, labeling for political advertising.  So this is complementing the code of practice, these legislative matters.  And the Commission will also propose an act soon ford to increase the transparency and independence of the media sector and also strengthen the governance structure of media.  This is the overall strategy in very big strokes. 

Let me get to the role of EDMO.  I will have excellent speakers after me, so the European Commission supported the creation of the European Digital Media Observatory because they think this can be tackled through a multi-stakeholder approach, through the collaboration of a community of researchers and fact checkers throughout Europe that can work on the fight against disinformation.  That's why EDMO has been set up. 

It's been in operation since June 2020.  The goal is fostering and supporting a cross-border and multi-disciplinary community of fact checkers and researchers to detect, analyze and expose disinformation threats, and to have this community, to have access to data and to improve cooperation through Europe.  It is important that the EDMO has eight regional hubs.  It is throughout the EU.  The role is to detect disinformation campaigns, to provide support to researchers and fact checkers, and to cooperate with national authorities for the monitoring of the online plat-form's policies.  All the players come together, because this also means monitoring the code's implementation.  And here, regarding the monitoring, this would be in broad Stokes how we see EDMO contributing to the fight against misinformation and I am looking forward to the upcoming speakers to tell you more about how this is done on the ground.

Thank you very much.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you, Krisztina.  Now we go directly on to the EDMO activities.  And we have Lisa Ginsborg with us.  Do you have some slides also?

>> LISA GINSBORG:  Yes, thank you.  Will you run the slides from there, or should I try --

>> We will run from here.

>> LISA GINSBORG:  Thank you very much for organizing this great event.  It is a great pleasure to present EDMO to a broad international community.  The idea behind EDMO is to build a multi-stakeholder platform.  EDMO aims or act as a platform bring together different actors working to tackle online disinformation.  It was established in June 2020 as an independent observatory, and it is also sometimes termed digital services infrastructure and the community builder. 

The idea is precisely this; on one hand this multi-stakeholder approach of bringing together different stakeholders working to tackle online disinformation, including fact checkers, academic researchers, social media platforms, amongst others, so at the heart of the idea of EDMO is the idea strengthening societal resilience is one of the best future forever ways to tackle disinformation precisely through this multi-stakeholder approach.  The other fundamental idea behind Ed move is the idea in order to adequately tackle online disinformation, we first need to better understand online disinformation, including its actors, its tools, the way disinformation is spread, the impact it has on society.

Precisely for this reason, EDMO aims to foster this multi-stakeholder approach and community.  It offers -- aims to offer facts, evidence and tools to tackle online disinformation and better inform the actors working in this field.

It is funded by the EU, but it works completely independently.  It is based in a consortium.  We are based at the European University Institute in Florence.  I will very briefly present some of the main pillars of EDMO's work.  As you hear from the different speakers today, there is a lot to the different strands, so I will try and give a broad overview.

The first pillar is we have established the platform for fact checkers and the platform for researchers is also about to be launched.  The idea is to have secure space where fact checkers can work together, working to analyze disinformation campaigns and conduct joint investigations.  We have a web portal offering a number of resources in this field.  EDMO is guided by a governance body, so we have an advisory board, which ensures public trust regarding the work of the platform and also an executive board composed of members of the different pillars.  One of the tasks of the governance body is to establish a framework to provide secure access to data online platforms for research purposes.

In this context, EDMO established a working group to develop a code over conduct in Article 40 of the GDPR.  This work is ongoing, but this is a core strand of the code of practice, both in its original version and in the future version, hopefully.  The third strand is facilitating and supporting coordination of independent fact checking, and also establishing a number of directories, including fact checks and media literacy material.  Sonia is here to talk more about EDMO's media literacy work and plan. 

And EDMO aims to have this role of supporting and facilitating the coordination of academic research activities, including a number of repositories.  There are a number of repositories own on our website, including scientific literature, we have a repository of active fact checking organizations in Europe and I encourage you to continue following our web page, because more repositories will come.  Finally, very much linked to Krisztina's introduction is the fifth pillar of EDMO's work, this idea of providing academic input and methodological support in monitoring the policies put in place by online platforms and of course, this relates very much to the work under the code of practice, in its previous form and for its future forms.

So this gives you brief of a snapshot of some activities of EDMO.  I mentioned the secure platform.  We have these maps, repositories, the framework to access data is currently a work in progress in the working group.  We also conduct trainings.  We conducted a number of trainings, basic and advanced fact checking and aiming to have a new training on media literacy and measuring impact of media literacy soon and other trains on EU policy and academic approaches to disinformation as well.

Policy analysis, this is a key part of EDMO's work in relation to the self-regulatory and co-regulatory developments happening in this field.  We organize workshop conferences, we have a newsletter, so please sign up.  We are active on Twitter, we produce a number of policy reports and other types of reports, so we encourage you to keep an eye on our Twitter account and on our web page.

Finally, in this brief introduction, and there will be a lot to say, but I'm sure the next speakers will talk a lot more in detail, the EDMO hubs.  So we have eight hubs, national or multinational hubs established.  You get the quick snapshot of the countries already covered by EDMO hubs, and the new call for hubs is now open.  We will have an information session about this next week, so for those interested, please join us also on this occasion.  I think that's everything by way of introduction to EDMO's different strands of activities, but I would be happy to answer questions.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you.  As you announced the activities, you mentioned one pillar is media literacy and digital literacy, so we have Sonia Livingstone with us.

>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE:  Thank you.  I'm happy to talk about media literacy.  It is a crucial pillar of EDMO's work, and we began by mapping the complexity of the European media literacy landscape.  It must be said there are -- there is many activities on media literacy and yet, of course, the disinformation crisis has happened, and it's a clear judgment these activities need to be stepped up and better coordinated.  EDMO has been trying to identify the range of activities that are going on. 

Perhaps my first point to make, is each works with a slightly different, but overlapping definition of media literacy and emphasis on where to -- how to frame this.  All the definitions, as I see it, draw on the core elements that have always been there in the academic and the practice field, which is that citizens, and this is all citizens, children, adults, everybody, should have the capacity to access, analyze, evaluate and create communications using the technologies and the media opportunities available to them.  What the disinformation problem has highlighted is the importance in that of evaluation, so many of the recent efforts focus on that effort to evaluate, but the whole thing is important, and there's plenty of research that shows that prioritized particular elements of media literacy without recognizing the diversity and complexity of the effort, it doesn't work.  And especially, just promoting technical skills, giving people access to the technical skills to use digital media does not address the kind of wider problem of disinformation.  People need to be able to evaluate and create.

The second point I wanted to make in my short intervention at this point is media literacy, while often a kind of go-to solution for regulators, and rightly so, must be understood in the wider frame.  Media literacy can do so much, but it must be complemented with the activities of regulators of fact checkers, and of the kind of altered design of platforms, so the awareness-raising and educational burden is not enormous.  It is kind of managed, because there's only so much one can teach, there's only so much people are capable of learning, they learn at a certain pace about the complexities of the media environment, and that media environment itself needs to be kind of managed so the task is not overwhelming.

Media literacy is part of the regulatory and technological mix.  What EDMO has been doing recently is working on identifying all the players.  Some players I can see are here in the Zoom room, and there are many others, so the European Commission, the council of Europe, the European association of reviewers interest, ERGA, and many others are involved. 

I think it was a crucial moment when the media services director highlighted the importance and breadth of media literacy across Europe.  And the insistence that nation states would report on progress.  It's surprising, given the crisis of disinformation and its impact on democracy in so many countries that this has been in practice disappointing, but the council at the European Union reporting on-a few member states care rid out that formal assessment of media literacy in their countries.  In the one sense, it is hard to know what the level of implementation and improvement is visible across countries.

There was an effortful and rigorous attempt to evaluate media literacy in every member state in 20916, and that produced some promising, but also -- results, but it marked a benchmark from which considerable improvements are needed.  We would be mapping all the different activities.  We are posting that on the EDMO website.

EDMO's specific planned contribution is to provide a hub for knowledge and clarity about who is doing what and who is responsible for media literacy, both at European and national level, and the hubs that Lisa talked about will especially take that forward.  EDMO's role will be to be the hub, to be the knowledge resource that raise awareness, to -- and we are having a fascinating discussion on which folk here may wish to contribute about how to highlight the best practices and how to evaluate which are the best practices.  The question of evaluation perhaps is the one that is preoccupying us most at the moment.  Evaluating how that should be done is really a crucial task.  And we, I believe, are making good progress, but we look forward to input.

I will stop and pass the floor back to Giacomo.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you.  So the next pillar is about the fact checking activities.  For this, we have asked Giovanni Zagni, one of the fact checkers most involved in this activity, to explain how it will work, what EDMO will do in order to help with the fact checkers in doing their activity.

>> GIOVANNI ZAGNI:  Thank you for this invitation.  It is a pleasure to be here virtually.  It would be better to be in Poland now, but sadly, we just have -- I have to be in Milan.  I will explain what -- the work we have planned for EDMO as coordinators of fact checking activities. 

The need for cooperation among fact checkers comes from one simple observation:  Disinformation travels across borders.  We have seen that a lot in the past few years, and we have seen it a lot in our activity as fact checkers and as part of the international community of fact checkers.  It travels not only because disinformation appears in one country, and then spreads to others, but also because very often, disinformation referred to other countries, as the place where some things happen that actually didn't. 

One thing we saw often in the past few weeks, are photos spread all over Europe of huge crowds.  And in the various countries where the photo was spread, it was said that it was, for example, manifestations in Italy, the certificates that you have to show in order to present information you are vaccinated or you tested negative to a COVID test.  In reality, those huge crowds weren't in Italy, but were manifestation in a music festival in Switzerland.  And the photo was taken years before.  But it appeared in France or the Netherlands or in other countries outside Europe, people seeing those photos weren't immediately able to identify that city as not being in Italy, for example.

In order to address these issues and in order or build a common response at the European level to these dynamics, EDMO has worked since its inception to do quite a few different things in the fact checking work.

First, it has worked to build a network of European fact checking organizations and to put in a single, common space those organizations that are currently more of 20 of them that cover basically all of Europe, and to promote trainings and networking activities among them.  The first thing is to have them work and talk among them.

More practically, EDMO has fostered cooperative investigations through a platform that makes easier the sharing of information among fact checkers.  I will try to put a link in the chat, because here, for example, you can see the result of the first collective investigation that was done through the platform.  It was an analysis of how disinformation exploited the Afghan crisis.  When the U.S. left Afghanistan, there was a rush of disinformation all over the world about that event and in Europe too, so what we did is we asked the other fact checkers what kind of disinformation have you seen in your country regarding Afghanistan.

We put together all the information we got, and we published this article, analyzing which were the main trends around this current event.  As you know, disinformation follow what's in the news those days, so you have to follow the fuse in order or understand what the information will be about in a matter of hours sometimes, or days.

This is not the only example.  We published others where we basically find a common topic or issue, whether there's disinformation circulating all over Europe and we collect information about those disinformation cases and summarize them in those reports.

Not only that, we also published a few fact checking briefs that every month summarizes which are the main trends in disinformation across Europe and the EU.  The last one, published November 15, and I will also put you the links to the fact checking briefs in the chat, what was happening in the disinformation field in Europe, through October.  For example, just to quote one of the numbers we found was that COVID was not the most frequent topic in disinformation across the organizations that participated in this.  So roughly two-thirds of the disinformation items that were checked by fact checking organizations across Europe had to do with something else.  The percentage varied from country to country and from organization to organization, but you can look at the brief for the details.

As you can see, we have tried to organize at the continental level, the sharing of information among all the major fact checking organizations.  I just briefly present some of the main results.  We plan to deepen the cooperation in the coming weeks and months to carry on the publication of both collaborative investigation and fact checking briefs.  And at the end of the day, to have a super-quick response tool for disinformation crisis in the upcoming months.

Thank you.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you.  I think this also raises many questions, for instance, you mentioned the network is not closed, it is an open activity, but we will come back later during the question and answer.

You also mentioned there are national hubs that will play an important role in the architecture of EDMO and we have, in fact, one of them with us that is the Italian hub that is represented here by Gianni Riotta.  Could you explain how the hub works and how it interacts with the activities?

>> GIANNI RIOTTA:  Thank you.  I apologize for the mask.  I am here with two of my colleagues.  They are both involved in the Italian digital media.  There are many different national hubs.  There are eight, and we cooperate with us, we try to help each other.  We are in contact with the central, central Europe, with the Iberian EDMO and Iberian hub includes Spain and Portugal. 

The Italian media observatory is unique.  When we put together our coalition, we decide not to have just an observatory and coalition of researchers.  We put together media people, both REI, the Italian public TV and radio network, and the researchers here at the university, where I am speaking from today, and the team of professors, they do research especially on the behavior and business and economy.  Then we have the think tank people with us.  And then we have the Italian telecom company, that is helping with monitoring the conversation and spreading of fake news and disinformation online.  They have a huge, huge reservoir of data that we are canvassing and seeing how from abroad, very often, this information starts from abroad and then lands in different countries.

The speed of the disinformation has incrementally increased in the past few years.  We have done research here, alongside the Italian digital media observatory checking out the Q Anon cult and the message spread from the United States to Europe and adapting to all the different European countries with a local message in the local language in a matter of just few months.

What EDMO is trying to do is to go ahead of what we have been discussing so far.  The European approach includes a code of conduct, includes working on literacy, working on the fact checking.  We are trying to test these tools we have been assigned to use.  There is no clear scientific definition of what illiteracy really means, so you are trying to test how we can use this tool very often, the champions of this information and people that share and use this information, thinking now about the pandemic, Coronavirus, the no-vax communities in Italy, Europe and the United States, very often they are great, computer-literate people, they can use the web, they can share information fast, they are very savvy when it comes to social platform.  So when we define illiteracy, we have to work on rebuilding critical thinking, trusting sources and elevating sources. 

When it comes to fact checking, we are working hard to break the borders of community, meaning that in the United States, for example, the daily newspaper, "Washington Post" has done an excellent job in debunking, yet, they totally failed to convey that debunking, the fact checking outside the community of the readers of the "Washington Post" that mostly -- if you check another community, like Fox News, there are people that use, share and with their main talk show implement disinformation.  They are totally adamant, and will keep spreading misinformation online. 

So this original coalition we put together of technological companies, newspaper, newsrooms and television news rooms and researchers, of course, we have also Giovanni Zagni and other fact checking organization, what we are trying to do is to proceed in a two-fold operation.  And we are trying to study the phenomenon of disinformation with a scientific approach and at the same time, we are trying to fight it both in editorial, cultural and political level. 

Italy is engaged in talking to every different kind of institution.  We are seeing today the Senate, the chairwoman of the Italian Senate, and we talked to the minister of foreign affairs often, and we have seen international friends, ambassadors and diplomates from different European countries come to talk with us, we are engaged with other Italian companies all over the country, and we are meeting civil leaders, local leaders.  Two days ago, we had the book fair in Rome.  Very successful meeting with schools, with high school kids in Rome, trying to restart exactly from them.  This will be reproduced on a national level, from north to south.  We are trying to, with REI --

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  As a journalist, you remember that we have --

>> GIANNI RIOTTA:  I'm done.  We will develop a standard format we will share all across the country.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you.  We could continue forever, but we have timing to respect, especially because the last speaker of the panel with us, Lubos Kuklis, is very important, because it introduce another dimension, the dimension of the regulators.  So this is the interest of the model, we have a model of monitoring that could interact and interface with the regulators.  So this interface existing will help to immediately intervene and produce results.  The floor is yours, Lubos.

>> LUBOS KUKLIS:  Thank you for today's important topic and event.  Yes, I will talk about the approach of regulators and collaboration of the regulators with EDMO.  So ERGA is a regulators group for media services, the state authorities independent from governments tasked with implementation of the services, and broadly, our media regulators.  At the beginning of our activities, there was no competence over disinformation for the regulators in this area, but it was important for us to understand the situation, try to get skills and capacities to do the research and then, if needed, to take action in this area. 

In 2018, ERGA was tasked by the commission to monitor the implementation of the code of practice.  We have done this in the context of European elections, elections for European parliament, which was a good opportunity, because these elections are taking place in every member state, so we had ample opportunity to try to see how the code is implemented in various countries in the EU.  We praised the effort, because we have to say as a first of its kind, this kind of code was really opening a new area of collaboration between authorities and the platforms themselves, but there were shortcomings we were highlighting, and I think maybe the most important one is lack of transparency in understanding how the implementation is done, because there are some reporting obligations by the platforms.  In order to really see how the impact of code of practice is taking place, more data will be needed. 

We then proposed to the commission and to stakeholders and signatories how the framework should look in the future.  EDMO was created and we knew this was extremely important because regulators -- the thing we were doing before, but now the research is extremely important and we see this as a big opportunity for us to develop the capacities and understanding in this area.  From the beginning, we started a collaboration with EDMO, talking about how to increase the transparency in the monitoring framework.  Then the commission used our proposals for their guidance, for the next installment of practice.  This is the debate going on.  Both ERGA and EDMO are contributing to this development intensely and this guidance by the commission to improve the implementation, improve the commitment, is also given to both EDMO and ERGA in terms of creating that transparent framework.

What we are now seeing is we are working intensely in seeing how we can divide our future responsibilities.  In the code, there are two main monitoring frameworks.  One is on the service level, looking at what the platforms themselves are doing, and the reporting, several reporting they are providing to the commission and how to make these much more transparent and create a responsibility structure.  The other is to see how the society is impacted by the code itself, and we see ERGA is better placed to look after and monitor service level indicators and EDMO is better placed to monitor the structural level, to societal level indicators.  This is not clear-cut, but we are trying to work out how we can work together in the near future.

It is also important for us, even beyond the code of practice, so develop capacities for research.  We are relying very much on the hubs recently created.  We think many problems we are seeing have a kind of different context on the ground, because the problem is global, the services are global, but in Europe, you have 27 states.  So we need to understand how the processes and the problems are developing on the ground.  For those, it is really important the local regulators in every member state can work with the researchers based there, and the EDMO hubs are a great opportunity to do that.  We are encouraging the members to work together and even put down the plans for that future collaboration. 

The last thing I would like to mention, what we see in the digital environment and especially in the problem of disinformation, this is very sensitive, of course, when talking about content regulation.  It is always about the balancing the protection of public interest, but of course respecting the freedom of expression and freedom of media.  It is not about regulating, per se.  The better word is probably governance.  You need a self-approach.  The understanding of that and that workload is something very important for the regulators.  For the future, to work with the researchers and find out how the processes are functioning and to be able to convey to the users the current problems existing, where the solution may lie, what are the measures and tools they can use, will be very much a new task for the regulators.  And to work with EDMO and especially on the member state level, with EDMO hubs will be important.

Thank you.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you for the description.  We are short on time, but I would like very much to have some questions and some interaction with the audience here in the room and others are already in the chat.

There is someone in the room.  You have to go to the mic over there, if you don't mind.

>> Thank you.  I'm from Georgia.  Thank you for this very informative interaction with regarding this important topic.  It was quite interesting to see different pillars of EDMO activities, and you have the perspective from the regulator.  In 2019, we have been assigned the function to ensure development of the media literacy in the country, and we are implementing a number of different projects with this aim. 

I would like to thank you for outlining the activities of EDMO that are planned or being implemented on the European level.  I would like to outline disinformation is an enormous challenge for the countries of the EU as well.  I can confirm that on behalf of Georgia.  This information doesn't have borders, so it is extremely important to enhance cooperation on international level.  And therefore, I would appreciate if you could provide information as to concrete mechanisms of cooperation with partner countries, and you mentioned the hubs being established in different European Union member states.  Are there any plans to establish that also in partner countries as well?

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you.  You have a question?  I have another one in the chat.  I can read the question, or -- it is for Sonia.  Mentioning this work in countries with 1500 clams where they try to explain to children about media and how to understand what is fake, what is true.  Sonia, do you have an answer or comment on this experience?

>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE:  Yes, thank you.  In the interest of time, I will put a link to a report in the chat which has reviewed all the different ways of evaluating which media literacy interventions do work.  I think what you suggest there is the kind of classic before and after.  You measure children's knowledge before the intervention.  And after you get one measure of improvement, it is a self-report.  If you do an experimental in a control group, you give a literacy intervention to one class and compare their knowledge with that of another, that's a much stronger test, and most education interventions can do this.  First teach one class, then the other. 

The evaluation research shows there is quite a lot of careful detailed design of interventions needed, because many interventions are designed that don't work very well, and the report that we recently did at LSE for our communication regulator showed the importance of interventions which require cognitive effort on the part of those who are being educated.  That shouldn't be a surprise, but I think sometimes there's a temptation to do kind of quick fire, rather glitzy, fun interventions.  More thoughtful, more effortful ones work better and last longer.  There's more I could say, but I think you would like to squeeze in another answer.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you.  We have an answer to our Georgian colleague?  If --

>> LISA GINSBORG:  Sure, maybe on the question of how EDMO can contribute also outside a lot of the work that EDMO is doing, including in the area of media literacy we hope will serve as a useful tool also beyond Europe.  This is very much the idea also behind this session, so whether it is mapping of what is going on in Europe, but also, say, pushing forward the debate about measuring best practice and impact of media literacy, we hope this conversation can contribute also to countries beyond Europe. 

But I would say the same goes for all the different areas of EDMO's activities also in the work that is being done in the working group an access to data, the work being done in the policy field, I think these can serve as useful examples, including this broad example of the multi-stakeholder approach of EDMO, we hope can serve as a useful example and inspiration to other areas, but on the more concrete question of funding hubs beyond Europe, I guess this is not in our hands, but I understand that the EDMO, as it stands, is very much looking at EU countries.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you very much.  Probably not the answer that was expected, but the European Commission doesn't comment.  There was a last question in the chat for Lubos.  I don't know if you have seen it.

>> LUBOS KUKLIS:  Yes.  Well, digital services acts as a tool.  Directly, we are relying on the media freedom act to do that.  There are things around transparency that can be strengthened that would help many things and -- to strengthen the transparency about algorithms and recommended systems, I think that would be probably in this direction.  If I can answer to our colleague from Georgia, we have another network of regulatory authorities called EPRA.  We are trying to translate what we learned from the process to this network, to spread it to our colleagues from other countries and of course, we are also looking for practical ways how to work around the problem of disinformation.  We just established a close relationship specifically on this account, so hopefully, we will help all the regulators also outside the EU to get the skills and capacities in this regard.

Thank you.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  Thank you.  Our time is up, but I have to give floor for very short final intervention to someone that's been silent till now, the reporter of the session, Erik Lambert.  We have been asked by the IGF to take notes about something that could be actionable in the near future.  What are your thoughts after this session?

>> Thank you.  Very interesting session.  Maybe there are a few questions on some area that were not covered that might be interesting.  One thing is about monitoring the code of practice.  What about collaboration with the public and issues like having browsers which go against the community rules of the platforms.  That's something that should be looked into.  And of course, that linked to collaborating with not only having more input, but the possibility to consider which area.

Information travels with language, so what about minority languages, disinformation in our immigration populations, what is EDMO doing about that to gain the knowledge to follow that, which is also something important.

The last question maybe is there is an issue, the digital monitoring act.  We had the issue that many of the issues are linked to media regulation, and not to market regulation.  And where -- how to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge in the regulatory authorities when they are not converged.

>> GIACOMO MAZZONE:  You are right.  I think Lubos gave us a beginning answer to this last question you raised.  You expect more from the media freedom document the Commission will soon reveal and will be discussed next year.  Okay, a lot of good thoughts and ideas, a lot of question and answer.  That's good to continue the discussion.  And Erik will publish in two hours, this is the commitment, the first report that can be shared will you the platform of the IGF, and then we will have a proper report in ten days out from now.

Thank you, everybody, for your patience, and sorry for being a little longer than expected.

(Meeting concluded at 11:50 CET)