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Forum On Information And Democracy: 250 Recommendations On How To Stop 'Infodemics'

As false or manipulated information continues to proliferate online during the Covid-19 epidemic, the Forum on Information and Democracy is publishing a report entitled "How to End Infodemics." Based on more than 100 contributions from international experts, it offers 250 recommendations on how to rein in a phenomenon that threatens democracies and human rights, including the right to health.

Launched in 2019 by 11 non-governmental organizations and research centers, the Forum on Information and Democracy created a working group on infodemics in June to devise a “regulatory framework” to respond to the information chaos on online platforms and social media. After five months of work, this group, whose steering committee is co-chaired by Maria Ressa and Marietje Schaake, is publishing a detailed report with 250 recommendations for governments and digital platforms.

The report, written by a team of rapporteurs led by Delphine Halgand-Mishra, identifies four structural challenges and proposes concrete solutions for each of them:

  • platform transparency
  • content moderation
  • promotion of reliable news and information
  • private messaging services

Many countries that are members of the Alliance for Multilateralism expressed their support when the Forum’s president, Christophe Deloire, gave a presentation about the working group to nearly 50 foreign ministers during an Alliance meeting on 26 June that was also attended by World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay.

During another meeting of the Alliance to be held on November 12 as part of the Paris Peace Forum, Deloire will give a presentation on the Forum on Information and Democracy report and its main recommendations to Alliance foreign ministers.

“This report is proof that a structural solution is possible for ending the information chaos that poses a deadly danger to our democracies,” said Christophe Deloire. “All those adopting legislative initiatives with regard to platforms should be guided by this report, whether in India with Section 79, the United States with Section 230, Canada with the Digital Charter, the United Kingdom with the Online Harms Bill and, of course, the European Union with the Digital Services Act.”

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