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Getting our facts straight

Panel discussed disinformation and the 2019 European Parliament elections.

At the end of 2018 the European Union launched a “war against disinformation” in an attempt to protect the integrity of the European Parliament elections in May 2019. The proposed measures include a rapid alert system to support member states in identifying disinformation campaigns, an increased budget of 5 million euros for the detection of disinformation, and pressure on tech companies to get on board with weeding out “fake news.”

Are these measures too little, too late? How concerned do we actually need to be about disinformation in Europe? Russia has often been pointed to as a main source of disinformation but are there other countries or actors that we need to be worried about? And what about the voters in the 28 member states? What can be done to equip them to navigate the digital landscape and find accurate information to guide their voting? Can lessons learned from previous disinformation campaigns help us design better policy responses? 

Panelists Paul-Jasper Dittrich, Policy Fellow at the Jacques Delors Institute Berlin, Matthias Spielkamp, founder and Executive Director of AlgorithmWatch, and Rebekah Tromble, Assistant Professor in the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University, discussed these and other questions at the event chaired by Anita GohdesProfessor of International and Cyber Security at the Hertie School.