This week the complete details of the III Global Summit on Disinformation to be held online on September 27th and 28th were announced. For the third consecutive year, the event organized by Proyecto Desconfío, the Inter-American Press Association, and the Fundación para el Periodismo brings together for two days the most outstanding initiatives, research, and projects in the fight against disinformation.
This year’s program will begin with a series of investigations of the International Center for Journalism’s (ICFJ) powerful program «Disarming Disinformation», which for three years will promote various actions to curb disinformation. In the context of the Summit, on September 27, three of the investigations will be presented that seek to highlight who drives and finances disinformation campaigns in the region. The first panel will present the results that show the propagation of disinformation on health issues, with promises of magic cures in Brazil, by the scientific magazine Questão de Ciência. The results of disinformation and stigmatization in gender issues will also be presented by Chequeado and the closing of this space will be in charge of a consortium of organizations led by Verificado Mexico, which will expose the deception of migrants who try to access the United States.
Without a break, the central theme of Day 1 (September 27) will be the Panel on Electoral Disinformation. There, the Summit has called for a very interesting mix of speakers that includes the acute observation and years of academic research on the subject by Silvio Waisbord, a member of the George Washington University, who will discuss the case of massive deception and false information that occurred in the electoral process in Brazil, very well documented and denounced by Comprova’s team. In the same space, the president of the Association of Journalistic Entities of Argentina (ADEPA), Daniel Dessein, will talk about the importance of the role of the media in the provision of reliable electoral information, and the results of the agreements between the Argentinean press and the authorities of the electoral process in that country.
One of the great moments of the Global Summit on Disinformation will come from those initiatives that are committed to implementing strategies to guarantee the quality of news and recover some of the audiences´s lost trust in the media. This is a topic of great interest for the entire journalistic industry and emerges as a prelude to an ambitious project promoted by Proyecto Desconfío, which will begin in 2024. As a preview, the Trusting News initiative, which distributes «trust tips» every week in its newsletter with very operational recommendations for the media, will present its actions to enhance trust in the media. In this same segment, the case of the Argentinean newspaper La Nación, which for some years now has implemented the indicators promoted by The Trust Project, will be presented. In addition, the Summit will showcase the work of the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council to share the ways in which they use open-source tools (OSINT) to identify patterns in the flow of digital content in times of elections or migration.
As if all these presentations were not already enough, the first day of the Summit will close with a panel that journalism professors and social activists are highly awaiting, as the focus will be on Information Literacy. Patricia Noboa Armendariz, leader of DW Akademie for Latin America and with vast experience in social impact initiatives to make different groups vulnerable to the logic of disinformation, will speak about it. She will be joined by the renowned Mario Tascón, one of the educators who is part of the Gabo Foundation’s network of teachers and who will put the finishing touch to the first day of the Summit’s activities.
For the second day of activity, the Global Summit on Disinformation is not to be missed. The day will start at 10 am Argentina time (UTC-3) with a focus on the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in journalism. For this year the Summit called a very ambitious project that is showing its first results: it is a prototype developed under the impulse of Europa Press that seeks to automate an early warning system with AI in the detection of false or misleading information. The Summit will be the ideal scenario to show this prototype in operation for the first time. It will also be very interesting to learn about the work of the Digital Forensic Research Lab in the automation of disinformation monitoring related to the United States, working with large volumes of unstructured data thanks to the possibilities opened up by Artificial Intelligence.
This will be followed by a panel on Digital Tools that help in the detection of disinformation pieces. Google News Initiative will provide the latest news and functionalities of its Fact Check Explorer for images. The table will be set for the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) to show its progress in the creation of a standard for the originality of digital images that will help media and journalists distinguish original photos from manipulated content. Finally, Full Fact will present Checkworthy to continue innovating in data verification.
Midway through day 2 will be the Innovative Fact-Checking Project Round which promises to showcase the learnings and innovations that drive the initiatives that were selected to participate in the Summit. Here, Bolivia Verifica and Infoveritas had the difficult mission of selecting a few projects from the more than 35 verification agencies that presented their proposals. In this block, there will be news on ways to track cross-border disinformation to educational projects that bring fact-checking methods to high school students. There will be initiatives from France, Switzerland, Ukraine, Venezuela, and several other countries.
As if all this were not enough, this year’s edition of the Summit includes a new block that will show the ways in which the fight against disinformation in crisis contexts is addressed. A journalist to the prestigious Climate Change Network, led by the Reuters Institute, will present their reach to show the magma of disinformation on this topic and the importance of building networks to combat it. There will also be a space for the United Nations of Argentina which, from Covid-19 onwards, has maintained its Verified project. There will also be time to learn about the work of the LatAm Diversity Network in Journalism and its ongoing battle against stigmas and false or misleading information on gender and sexual diversity issues. And for the closing of this block, the presentation of Pablo Medina from Latin American Center for Journalism Research (CLIP) to unmask the «Digital Mercenaries», those who lead the main electoral disinformation campaigns in the region, is awaited with expectation.
In the end, the Global Disinformation Summit saves a topic that is gaining strength and needs more momentum: how to make reliable and verified content reach more people. This block led by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) will allow us to know the first conclusions generated by the «Spread the Facts» initiative that funded various projects around the world to find the best ways to distribute verified content through WhatsApp. It will also be part of this moment the incredible experience developed by Medianálisis in Venezuela, distributing truths in printed formats to circumvent censorship and internet cuts promoted by the Government of that country. The cherry on the cake will be in charge of the experience shared by Bolivia Verifica and Proyecto Desconfío in developing a project to verify hate speech on social networks, which implemented a very innovative campaign to deliver the verified content through WhatsApp.
This is how complete this edition of the Summit will be, which also hosts renowned researchers and very powerful initiatives that are leading the way in the fight against disinformation. An unmissable event, free and online, with simultaneous translation into English and Spanish so that no one misses a minute of this global event that grows stronger every year as a fundamental meeting place for the fight against disinformation.
The III Global Summit on Disinformation is supported by Google News Initiative, International Fact-Checking Network, U.S. Embassy in Argentina, United Nations Argentina, BancoSol Bolivia and the Kimberly Green Center for Latin America and the Caribbean at Florida International University (FIU). This is a free online event, which requires prior registration at www.cumbredesinformacion.com.
The Summit is accompanied by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Medianálisis, Bolivia Verifica, Asociación Nacional de Prensa de Chile, Fundación GABO, DW Akademie, Infoveritas, Asociación Colombiana de Medios de Información (AMI), Asociación de Entidades Periodísticas Argentinas (ADEPA) and United Nations Bolivia.