IGF 2023 WS #554 Folk communication against disinformation: internet role


Human Rights & Freedoms
Rights to Access and Information

Organizer 1: Barbara Heliodora Ribeiro Cesar Dantas, ARTICLE 19 Brasil
Organizer 2: Paulo Lara, 🔒

Speaker 1: Gizele Martins, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Nandini Chami, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Loreto Bravo, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Karla Velasco, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Barbara Heliodora Ribeiro Cesar Dantas, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Paulo Lara, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Barbara Heliodora Ribeiro Cesar Dantas, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. What is the relationship between social struggles, folk communication, technology, and the internet in combating misinformation in Brazil and South America?
B. How do community networks contribute to this ongoing fight?
C. What is the role of organized civil society in this ecosystem?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will absorb, through dialogue with communicators and members of civil society, the intrinsic relationship between social struggles, folk communication, and technology, understanding the broad spectrum that encompasses these terms and their fundamental role in combating misinformation that costs lives.

The participants' experience will also provide insights into strategies for designing projects focused on this intersection, including key aspects such as respecting the identity and autonomy of peoples and their territories, the roles of civil society organizations in this ecosystem, and different tactics for network mobilization.

Furthermore, the participation of quilombola and grassroots folk communicators in the panel will provide an opportunity to learn about initiatives of autonomous popular communication networks, as well as to hear stories about the direct impact that folk communication and the access to internet through community networks has achieved on Brazilian politics and the multiple social struggles of different peoples and territories in the country.


Based on the sub-theme "Human Rights & Freedoms", it will address the power and fundamental role of folk communication and community networks in confronting misinformation in contexts of disputed narratives of high risk, such as covid-19, environmental agendas and elections. The session intends to think of the Internet and its complex landscape as a facilitator or obstacle for developing an autonomous communication process.

Folk communication have migrated massively to the Internet. Even with a positive side in it (reach, cost and impact), much of the traditional communication, its technique, the oral and ‘old’ communication processes has been lost during this technological shift. We will address the challenges and potential of combining ICTs with cultural/social realities in a way to move forward, fostering a multiplicity of languages, techniques and messages.

- Experiences/knowledge of folk communicators and their initiatives on informing communities, dialoguing with state agencies and representatives and the positive impact they have achieved, either within or without the Internet, so we can analize how the many forms can combine and optimize the use of ICTs for folk communication;
- The experiences of A19Brazil and SouthAmerica with four editions of the #CompartilheInformação campaign, which gathered more than 100 folk communication groups across the country in network mobilization, producing and sharing qualified information with dialogic and targeted characteristics in the fight against misinformation on topics such as covid-19, vaccination, elections and environmental agendas;
- Experiences on community networks implementation and their importance to folk community and the access to information, mainly in rural and remote areas, where there are numerous challenges for the use of the Internet;
- Possibilities and strategies for convergence between civil society organizations and folk communication groups, with the aim of developing and fostering networks to confront disinformation by combining different languages, formats and technologies

Expected Outcomes

The main outcome is the awareness of the importance of qualified communication produced by the people for the people and its fundamental role in combating misinformation, conveyed through the speeches of two important Brazilian communicators to an international audience. In addition to that, there will be the publication of a report (in a yet-to-be-determined format) on the exchanges that took place in the panel, including the systematization of the experiences carried out and presented by ARTIGO 19 Brazil and South America in fostering folk communication and building community networks. The exchanges in the panel will also contribute to enriching the continuation of the presented actions, as well as fostering new long-term partnerships and exchanges.

Hybrid Format: It is essential to structure it to welcome online participants, since this audience will be composed of folk communicators.

Due to issues posed in the discussion itself, they'll face difficulties to access it in real time. Thus, in advance, we'll contact them and offer alternative ways of participation such as videos/texts/other media that may represent them, as well as ensuring some have equipment/internet signal to participate live.

During the session, we will have active monitoring of the networks, in order to facilitate the participation of the people who will follow online, who will be able to interact through our zoom room, via audio and video, as well as through chat.

Finally, interaction tools, such as polls, will be used, for participants (in person/online) to express their opinions - and these will be displayed on screen during the event.