Workshop 2a: Managing Change in Media Space: Social Media, Information Disorder, and Voting Dynamics

  1. Impact and Challenges of the EU Elections: Disinformation campaigns before EU elections targeted issues like Ukraine, COVID-19, and the state of EU democracy, aiming to manipulate public opinion and polarize voters. While immediate election periods showed reduced incidents, AI and traditional methods play crucial roles in maintaining (or degrading) electoral integrity and ensuring (or threatening) access to verified political content. The measures put in place by the EU (through EDMO, the Code of Practice on Disinformation, the EEAS, the European Parliament, and a network of fact-checkers) have succeeded in mitigating the impact of foreign interference. However, concerns remain about the spreading of mistrust in democratic institutions.
  1. Possible Solutions: To combat disinformation, a multimethod approach includes independent fact-checking, international collaboration on research and demonetisation strategies, and holding digital platforms accountable [1]. The representative of Meta’s oversight board presented recommendations addressed to the platform about how to operate during elections. Its implementation is expected to in place during the next US Presidential elections. Educating users in critical thinking and media literacy, along with developing voter-friendly communication, enhances electoral transparency and promotes informed electoral participation. Besides, the long-term financial sustainability of relatable media is key to managing effective strategies.
  1. Multidimensional Approach: Addressing media manipulation and electoral integrity requires enhanced cooperation between states, platforms, and civil society with a multidimensional approach involving diverse stakeholders, multidisciplinary expertise (e.g. psychosociology, neurology, linguistics, communications, etc.), multi-level governance (from international to local), and the development of inclusive multilingual standards.
[1] See the full document here.

Source: https://comment.eurodig.org/eurodig-2024-messages/workshops/workshop-2a-managing-change-in-media-space-social-media-information-disorder-and-voting-dynamics/