IGF 2019 WS #318 Legislation for Fake News


Organizer 1: Aleena Niaz, Bolo Bhi
Organizer 2: Usama Khilji, Bolo Bhi

Speaker 1: Bruna Santos , Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Olumuyiwa Caleb Ogundele, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Nadia Tjahja, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

1) Can fake news regulations be successful in curbing misinformation without threatening the rights and safety of journalists?
2) Should a country’s legislation for fake news apply to international organisations and media houses with regional headquarters in the country?
3) How can checks and balances be built into legislation to protect the freedom of expression?
4) What are the kinds of legal regulations already in place, and to what extent are they successful in curbing the issue of fake news without infringing on the right to free speech?
5) How can legislation be leveraged to create an effective but fair co-regulation model?

Relevance to Theme: Any legislation surrounding the regulation of media has the potential to be misused. Fake news is still a relatively new issue and many nations, particularly in the global south, are still struggling to define the parameters of their conversations. Thus, rushed and vague policy decisions can undermine the safety and rights of dissenters - where laws can be manipulated to adversely affect the freedom of expression.

Relevance to Internet Governance: This session looks at laws relating to the regulation of new media in light of the increasingly prevalent issue of fake news and misinformation. Many countries have already passed legislation which has resulted self-censorship, and has been used for the unjust imprisonment for journalists. This session will explore the intricacies of these policies, and the different regulation approaches available to best serve the interests of the people.


Break-out Group Discussions - Round Tables - 60 Min

Description: The topic of legislation around fake news will be introduced with a short presentation giving background and context to the participants. This will cover how countries across the globe are responding to the threat of misinformation. It will also include a few case studies where legislation is currently being debated.

In order to use time and the skills of the participants efficiently, this session will use the "Break-out Group Discussion" format to pose the policy questions to each group. These discussions will be summarised at the end of the session which will help identify common threads and policy suggestions.

Expected Outcomes: This session seeks to understand the strengths and weaknesses in fake news legislation. Through the workshop format, the session will use the experiences, knowledge and collaboration of the participants to yield some insights into what constitutes sound legislation that cannot be manipulated to undercut democracy and democratic activities.

Onsite Moderator: 

Aleena Niaz, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator: 

Usama Khilji, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Aleena Niaz, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

The session relies on interaction and participation of members within the small group discussions. Each discussion will be a collaborative effort to yield solutions and insights that can be shared with the rest of participants at the end of the session.

Online Participation: 

Usage of IGF Tool


GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions