Everyone agrees on the fact that the internet is the source to which people will turn first if they need information on a specific topic, and it holds true that the internet has provided unprecedented amounts of information to huge numbers of people worldwide. However, at the same time, false, inaccurate and decontextualised information has also been disseminated online.
The rise of the digital platforms has provided people with a more direct access to content, and thus has replaced, in a way, mediated professional journalism and editorial decisions with algorithms that prioritise clickbait content in order to maximise engagement. Anyone with a social media account can create and spread disinformation and misinformation: governments, companies, interest groups, or single individuals. Research has suggested that human users are the main amplifiers of online propaganda, and not bots or other automated processes. Consequently, online influence operations are extremely fuzzy, as they largely depend on the broadcast of data by many private actors to reach their target audience. On top of that, inaccurate or misleading content can potentially have a damaging impact on core human rights and the functioning of democracy.
During the workshop on online disinformation at IGF 2022, important issues have been discussed: how to balance the threats of disinformation with the right to free speech, and if and how online disinformation undermines democratic values and principles. One of the key points that a society needs to overcome disinformation is media literacy. Thus, topics like is the media literacy education landscape equally well-established in all countries, and if not, what is the baseline of actions that a country should take to create digitally literate societies should be on the top of the agenda.
Greek Youth panelist Marina Kopidaki shared her valuable views on the topic by showing the way to go in order to empower young people to balance the narrative in online spaces and support other groups to tackle disinformation online by identifying new trends.
Learn more about the 2022 Internet Governance Forum here.
Find more information about the work of the Greek Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline, and youth participation services – or find similar information for other Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.