“Fake news” is currently being discussed in sensitive contexts such as the US Presidential elections, Brexit and after EU electoral campaigns. The reasons why this phenomenon is more pervasive and impactful today than ever before are the ease with which news can be posted and shared on social media, the velocity with which such news may spread, and the global reach it might effortlessly attain.
Consequently, President Juncker has taken up the challenge of fake news in his letter of Intent to the European Parliament and equally in his Mission letter to Commissioner Gabriel. He calls for action to “address the challenges online platforms create for our democracies as regards the spreading of fake information” and asks to “initiate a reflection on what would be needed at EU level to protect our citizens”.
In response and as part of the ongoing reflection process,the EU Commission (DG Connect) will convene a Multi-stakeholder Conference to initiate this discussion and identify the underlying challenges. The conference’s conclusions will serve as an input to a High Level Group to be convened in early 2018 charged with defining the scope of the exercise, taking stock of the current situation and recommending alternative scenarios for further action.
The Multi-stakeholder Conference will take place in Brussels, from 13:00 on the 13th November until the 14th November 2017 at 13:00 with the following draft agenda:
13:30-13:45 Welcome and introduction
13:45-15:20 Fake news and disinformation online – the problem definition (Panel and discussion)
15:40-18:00 Current initiatives to counter fake news and their effectiveness (Panel and discussion)
09:30-12:00 Is this enough? What next? (Panel and discussion)
The EFJ will be represented by its Director, Renate Schroeder, and Yannis Kotsifos, member of the EFJ Steering Committee.