Pro-fact conference: Leading European experts on the impact of disinformation on democratic and digital environment health

The growth of disinformation, insufficient quality of large technological platforms regulation, and the weakening of the media system - all problems which affect the whole of Europe, and which concern all European citizens. Experts in disinformation, media, media literacy, democracy and technology will discuss potential solutions and about the joint European perspective for dealing with the expansion of fake news in the digital sphere, on May 19th from 9:30 to 2:00, in the large hall of the Croatian Journalists' Association (Perkovčeva 2), as part of Gong's international professional conference "European Perspectives: The Impact of Disinformation on the Health of Democracy and the Digital Environment".

Although disinformation is not a new phenomenon, Europe has been facing a terrifying amount of disinformation campaigns that affected the health and lives of many citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the danger posed by disinformation, digital platforms are not doing enough to combat it, which has led to calls for regulation of large online platforms. At the panel "Regulating large technological platforms as a vaccine against disinformation", which starts at 10:10, European experts will present their unique experiences and knowledge of successful European practices and methods for countering disinformation. Likewise, the goal of the discussion is to discuss models of digital platforms regulation, as a place for the expansion of disinformation narratives, which can spill over from the online to the offline world, often dangerously affecting the health and safety of citizens, as well as democracy. Lauri Tierala, program director of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), Dorota Głowacka, from the Panoptykon Foundation, Jan Penfrat, from the European Network for Digital Rights (EDRi), and Marijana Grbeša, professor from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb, and member of the Pro-fact project.

The health of democracy is directly related to the health of the media ecosystem. However, growing financial and political pressure on the media, reduced citizen support for journalism, weaker media content monitoring, the widespread of disinformation on social networks, and the emphasis on the speed of publishing content, have all threatened the media ecosystem throughout Europe, which can no longer realize its key role of providing citizens with timely, accurate and contextualized information. Maja Sever, from the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Union of Croatian Journalists, Karina Stasiuk-Krajewska, from the Polish University of Social Sciences (SWPS), and CEDMO hub, Ieva Ivanauskaitė, DIGIRES and, Ana Brakus, Faktograf, Mato Brautović, University of Dubrovnik, and Dražen Hoffmann, Gong.

After the end of the conference, at 13:00, lunch is scheduled at HND as an opportunity for discussion and networking.

Follow the live broadcast on Gong's YouTube channel and on Gong's Facebook page:

See the conference program here:

The conference is organized within the framework of the multidisciplinary project "Pro-fact: Research, education, fact-check and debunk COVID-19 related disinformation narratives in Croatia", led by Gong. The project comprehensively approaches the social, political and health problem of the spread of COVID-19 disinformation campaigns by researching, raising awareness and strengthening capacity, together with partners the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb, the University of Dubrovnik,, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, and associates, including the Croatian Journalists society (HND) and the Union of Croatian Journalists (SNH). Gong is an interdisciplinary research laboratory, democratic watchdog organization and think-do tank focused on the improvement of democratic processes and institutions and the development of democratic political culture.

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