On October 15th, European Internet Forum hosted a lunch debate on topic “Digitalization and the defense of democracy”.
Internet, as an excellent mechanism to enable and facilitate democratic engagement and knowledge for all, in the wrong hands can also be an instrument for political manipulation. A lot of citizens are threatened by fake news, cyber bullying propaganda and hate speech.
The issues that digital era is facing now should be faced at international and local level. Such issues cannot be solved on own, it needs cooperation with European Commission, European Parliament and other responsible institutions.
Speakers were Trevor Davis (Founder and CEO of Counter Action; Deputy Director for Research at the Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics at George Washington University), Mikko Salo, (Founder of FactBar, Media Innovator and EU Advisor to LUT University), Marisa Jimenez Martin (Director of Public Policy and Deputy Head of EU Affairs, Facebook) and Paolo Cesarini (Head of Unit, Media Convergence and Social Media, DG CONNECT, European Commission).
Important questions were raised: How to rebuild the trust in Digital World? How to make ethical reforms in advertisement industry ? Can new digital tools help to guarantee democracy and ensure transparency of data use?
This debate discussed remaining challenges and addressed problems our societies face due to increasing complexity and digitalization (e.g. ethical, market and policy dilemmas, fake news, fake accounts).