Coping with the digital shake-up - Media and Content: A Decade of Change European Dialogue on Internet Governance 2008 2020 - EuroDIG

 
Coping with the digital shake-up - Media and Content: A Decade of Change European Dialogue on Internet Governance 2008 2020 - EuroDIG
European Dialogue on Internet Governance 2008 – 2020

Media and Content:
A Decade of Change
Coping with the digital shake-up

Yrjö Länsipuro
Coping with the digital shake-up - Media and Content: A Decade of Change European Dialogue on Internet Governance 2008 2020 - EuroDIG
European Dialogue on Internet Governance 2008 – 2020

Media and Content: A Decade of Change
Coping with the digital shake-up

Yrjö Länsipuro
About EuroDIG

Launched in 2008, EuroDIG, the European Di-      to develop, in a bottom-up fashion, a dynamic
alogue on Internet Governance, is a unique       agenda that explores the pressing issues sur-
annual event that brings together Internet       rounding how we develop, use, regulate and
stakeholders from throughout Europe (and         govern the Internet. EuroDIG participants
beyond), and from across the spectrum of gov-    come away with broader, more informed per-
ernment, industry, civil society, academia and   spectives on these issues and new partners in
the technical community. Stakeholders and        responding to the challenges of the informa-
participants work over the course of each year   tion society.
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Content

Content

Foreword: A decade of discussion on media issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Strasbourg 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Geneva 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Madrid 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Belgrade 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Stockholm 2012. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Lisbon 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Berlin 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Sofia 2015 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Brussels 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Tallinn 2017 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Tbilisi 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

The Hague 2019. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Virtual 2020. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Foreword: A decade of discussion on media issues

                                     Foreword: A decade of discussion on media issues

                                     Noel Curran – Director General,
                                     European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

                                     Thank you EuroDIG for producing this excel-           ernance for the benefit of all Europe’s citi-
                                     lent report and giving us the opportunity to re-      zens.
                                     flect on the past ten years. We have achieved a           Over the past ten years global platforms
                                     lot together and we look forward to continued         grew and increased their power enormously.
                                     collaboration with you, because together we           Although their influence has been hugely pos-
                                     can achieve so much more.                             itive across societies all around the world, it is
                                        When we set out on this journey we couldn’t        increasingly negative, inflicting lasting dam-
                                     predict how the internet would develop. How-          age on our societies. EuroDIG’s second confer-
                                     ever, we were convinced that only through             ence, hosted by the EBU, already recognised
                                     collaboration and multi-stakeholder dialogue          that access to content and the quality and di-
                                     could we ensure that free and independent             versity of content were crucial. It was agreed
                                     media and reliable news and information               that a working group should consider how to
                                     were not completely sidelined by global me-           protect unrestricted user access to online con-
                                     dia interests, or governments seeking to limit        tent, applications and services.
                                     freedom of expression. Sharing this joint                 Back in 2009, we had yet to imagine just
                                     purpose, we worked to ensure internet gov-            how powerful the algorithms deployed by tech

6
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Foreword: A decade of discussion on media issues

giants could become. Global online platforms          fluence public opinion. On the one hand plat-
have evolved from distributors to powerful            forms need to step up their game on illegal
gatekeepers, disrupting the way European              and harmful content online, while in parallel
content is displayed, attributed and remuner-         safeguards are needed against platforms tak-
ated. This cannot continue. EU moves to de-           ing down legitimate content from media
velop regulation to commit platform opera-            providers without warning or explanation.
tors to transparency and accountability are           This is key to maintain trust in the media.
most welcome. Without such rules, future gen-             The EBU is proud to have worked with
erations will be unable to find and have access       EuroDIG to highlight the importance of media
to trusted content and plurality of views.            pluralism, quality content and independent
    We commend the European Commission                journalism. As reflected in the report, EuroDIG
for its commitment to taking a rigorous ap-           has always made it clear that these issues
proach to platforms with the Digital Services         should not be abandoned, allowing market
Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).          forces and the interests of new players unfet-
But the devil will be in the detail. The Act will     tered domination of the media landscape.
have a heavily debated journey through the                We share the belief that high quality trust-
legislative process and coming up with effec-         ed news and information fosters democracy
tive rules will take time.                            and enables citizens to make informed choices
    We must all keep a strong focus on advocat-       and actively participate in society. Disinforma-
ing for sustainable and healthy public service        tion undermines trust, spreads fear and di-
media. We have to ensure that the dominance           vides communities. As pointed out in the re-
of global platforms does not restrict con-            port, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights this
sumers’ access to the very content they most          issue: faced with a deluge of misinformation
trust, value and rely on. News offered by pub-        citizens either believe nothing or believe any-
lic service media is consistently ranked among        thing. Neither will help resolve the crisis. It is
the most valued. And we’ve seen the impor-            clear that global platform operators have a
tance of that this year with the reach of their       major role to play. Ensuring better access will
evening news bulletins increasing by 2.5 times        help tackle disinformation. By giving visibility
during the peak days of the coronavirus crisis.       to diverse media on platforms, particularly
    In addition, we must ensure the platforms’        media of general public interest, citizens will
responsibility is in line with their ability to in-   be better informed.

                                                                                                                                               7
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Foreword: A decade of discussion on media issues

                                         Down through the years EuroDIG has al-            stakeholder collaboration and a great part-
                                     ways said that Europe needs a fair and trans-         nership with EuroDIG. This, I am confident, will
                                     parent online environment if we are to protect        help us achieve our common goal of commit-
                                     its digital sovereignty and ensure future gener-      ting global online platforms to transparency
                                     ations can continue to enjoy access to trusted        and accountability, so the next generation can
                                     news and information and a rich plurality of          continue to benefit from strong and diverse
                                     views.                                                media that upholds our common values and
                                         Over the past ten years we have estab-            empowers our citizens.
                                     lished a solid foundation, effective multi-

8
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Introduction

Introduction

Yrjö Länsipuro – Subject Matter Expert for media and
content

The thirteen years of the European Dialogue            dwarfed yesterday’s industrial giants. Social
on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) cover a               networks have given hundreds of millions of
transformative period in the development of            people the feel of living in a global village. At
the Internet. Quantitative growth figures were         the same time, however, unintended conse-
not as impressive as before 2008, when a cor-          quences reared their ugly head and the Inter-
responding time period had seen the expan-             net became a more dangerous place. The hype
sion of the Internet user base from a few              cooled off and disillusionment set in as oppor-
dozens of millions to 1.4 billion. In relative         tunities began to look like challenges, and
terms, its further growth to about 4 billion           hopes turned into fears. Information society
users in 2020 was more modest, although it             enthusiasts had to concede that “the future
crossed the half-way mark towards covering             ain’t what it used to be” but there is no turning
all mankind. But perhaps more important than           back. Whatever the Internet has become and
sheer numbers, the impact of the Internet rev-         whatever it will develop into, the world cannot
olution truly changed the world during the lat-        exist without it. What used to be nice to have
ter period. The Internet-based economy                 is now a must-have despite the downsides and
reached spectacular heights, and its paragons          risks.

                                                                                                                                            9
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Introduction

                                        The media sector was one of the first indus-    the EuroDIG process since its beginning, so
                                     tries to be shaken by the winds of change          this is a report by a participant observer, not a
                                     whipped up by the Internet at the turn of the      neutral outsider.
                                     millennium. During the second decade, it was          The choice of topics and sub-topics within
                                     hit by a perfect storm and the statistics bear     the media and content category reflected pro-
                                     witness to turmoil and transformation. Audi-       posals received from the European Internet
                                     ences, advertising revenues, resources and so-     community in response to the annual requests
                                     cietal influence shifted from the “old” to         for themes. Typically, a few dozen proposals
                                     “new” media. Journalism as a profession was        every year would relate to media and content.
                                     left struggling and tens of thousands of its       These were assessed and adopted at planning
                                     practitioners were rendered unemployed.            meetings convened by EuroDIG’s Secretariat
                                     Content was still king but now it was created      with the participation of experts in the rele-
                                     by individual users (or murky operatives pos-      vant fields, as proposals for plenaries, work-
                                     ing as such) and social media platforms be-        shops or other types of sessions, each planned
                                     came kingdoms and soon empires. New words          and managed by an organising team. This
                                     and phrases such as post-truth, fake news, al-     process is an organic part of EuroDIG which
                                     ternative facts and information pollution ap-      makes it much more than simply an annual
                                     peared in languages, editorials and in speech-     conference.
                                     es at Internet-related conferences, including         Over the years proposals for the EuroDIG
                                     EuroDIG.                                           programme’s media and content segment
                                         How did the succession of annual EuroDIG       have fallen roughly into three main baskets.
                                     sessions from 2008 to 2020 reflect these devel-       The first basket covered the highlights of
                                     opments? Were they seen in the rear-view mir-      the transition from analogue to digital, from
                                     ror only, or was there an attempt to anticipate    traditional mass media to personalised, user-
                                     what was ahead, around the next corner?            chosen and largely user-generated content,
                                        After reviewing the various annual EuroDIG      produced and delivered in a myriad of differ-
                                     Messages, recordings and transcripts of its ses-   ent ways and mostly free of geographic or reg-
                                     sions, and my personal recollections and notes,    ulatory constraints. This revolution was first
                                     I have endeavoured to trace how EuroDIG has        viewed with a generally benevolent curiosity.
                                     dealt with topics related to media and content     The opportunity to receive immediate digital
                                     year by year. I have been heavily involved in      feedback from readers, listeners and viewers,

10
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Introduction

instead of in the past as letters to the editor or   sues, closely related to the previous one. This
phone-ins to the radio and television stations,      last line of defence for ordinary Internet users
was sincerely welcomed by established media          was seen as increasingly urgent and impor-
actors. However, the consolidation of new me-        tant, especially as disinformation started to
dia into large global platforms and their inex-      spread throughout social media networks.
orable growth into dominance soon raised                A third basket of frequently raised issues re-
concerns about the sustainability of tradition-      lated to copyright. Its traditional forms were
al media business models. What had been              felt by many to be out of place – “copywrong”
thought to be just the tail of the established       – in the Internet world. Discussions continued
media would soon be wagging the entire dog.          year after year, in parallel with the process of
    The need for improvements in digital media       copyright reform in the European Union.
literacy was a second perennial category of is-

                                                                                                                                         11
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Strasbourg 2008 / Geneva 2009

                                     Strasbourg 2008

                                     The inaugural EuroDIG annual multi-stake-       tially from the perspective of security, in the
                                     holder forum was held in Strasbourg on 20 –     Strasbourg outcome, the “EuroDIG Mes-
                                     21 October 2008. It was organised – or per-     sages.” Under the heading “Security, privacy
                                     haps we might say improvised given the short    and openness”, Internet users were reminded
                                     notice – just five months after the idea of a   about the need “to be more aware of the op-
                                     multi-stakeholder European Internet forum       portunities and risks of their online expres-
                                     was born. It adopted, with some modifica-       sion and communication”. The treatment of
                                     tions, the original programme template of the   personal information by social networking
                                     UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) estab-       sites was considered to be a common issue of
                                     lished in 2006 which had not treated media      concern, especially with regard to young peo-
                                     and content issues as a separate topic. How-    ple.
                                     ever, they were touched upon, albeit tangen-

                                     Geneva 2009

                                     Hosted by the European Broadcasting Union       sues from a user perspective” (Plenary 2).
                                     (EBU) in Geneva, EuroDIG’s second annual        There was also a workshop on “Effective me-
                                     meeting (14 – 15 September 2009) devoted a      dia literacy for the end user” (Workshop 5)
                                     lot more attention to media and content is-     and one with the forward-looking theme of the
                                     sues. There were two plenary sessions with      “Internet of 2020 – future services, future
                                     slightly overlapping topics: “Access to con-    challenges” (Workshop 6) which included an
                                     tent online: regulation, business models,       extensive discussion on the future of social
                                     quality and freedom of expression” (Plenary     media.
                                     1) and “Online social media – governance is-

12
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Geneva 2009

Plenary 1 focused on the following ques-              The EBU and relevant stakeholders were
tions:                                             asked to work on the concept of quality con-
• How did user-generated content influence         tent: what it means, and how to produce and
   the diversity and quality of information        diffuse it.
   and content?
• How would future business models look            Plenary 2 focused on freedom of expression
   with regard to quality, information and         from to the user’s point of view, including the
   content?                                        right of reply and other means of redress. The
• What would be the role of public service         session covered a wide range of emerging crit-
   information, content and media in the on-       ical issues including the following.
   line environment?                                  The participants tried to identify who was a
• How should media and online content reg-         typical user of social media and to understand
   ulation develop in order to serve users’ de-    his/her needs, desires and online behaviour.
   mands?                                          There was a call for interactive and creative
• From a user perspective, what online infor-      opportunities for users.
   mation and content would in future have            Relevant social phenomena were also ex-
   to be paid for and what would be free?          amined. The feeling of a safe community or
                                                   “bubble” of friends was considered to be ad-
These were all excellent questions but per-        dictive, especially for young people who as a
haps understandably there were no definitive       consequence willingly concede their rights to
answers. Participants did agree at least that      privacy in exchange for inclusion.
Internet users should be able to access the           Media literacy was underlined as an impor-
content of their choice, in line with Article 10   tant – but not the only – response to the chal-
of the European Convention on Human Rights         lenge of online social networks. The need for
relating to freedom of expression. It was also     concerted efforts to improve formal and infor-
suggested that a multistakeholder working          mal education in this respect was recognised.
group should be established under the aus-            The responsibilities of providers of services
pices of the Council of Europe to prepare guid-    and technologies were also considered. The
ance on protecting and fostering unrestricted      business models behind the provision of their
user access to online content, applications        apparently “free” services were examined and
and services.                                      compared with the self-regulatory privacy

                                                                                                                                     13
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Geneva 2009

                                    policies that these companies claimed to fol-     concerned improving teacher training, creat-
                                    low.                                              ing synergies between formal and informal ed-
                                        The importance of quality content and         ucation, and developing a human rights-based
                                    services, and the relationship of trust between   European model of digital literacy.
                                    providers and users was emphasised.
                                        The need for terms and conditions offered     Workshop 6 concluded its vision of the Inter-
                                    by social network providers to be made clear-     net in 2020 with the following auspicious pre-
                                    er, simpler and more transparent was stressed.    diction:
                                    It was agreed that possible sanctions (e.g. the      “Social networks will likely gain in impor-
                                    cutting of access to services) would need to be   tance. Facebook-style networks may develop
                                    proportional to the infractions, and respect      towards virtual “facerooms” where “friends
                                    the human rights of users.                        meet and spend time together” thereby adding
                                        It was also suggested that the major social   pressure on legislation and rules to become
                                    networks should engage in Internet gover-         more technology-neutral and modern. Twit-
                                    nance discussions.                                ter-like services could become more promi-
                                                                                      nent. Peer-filtering and peer-reviewing could
                                    Workshop 5 took issue with the need for effec-    become more important. A stable legal frame-
                                    tive media literacy for the end-user and fo-      work which addresses human rights, such as
                                    cused on identifying relevant media education     the right to privacy, should be implemented in
                                    initiatives in Europe. The discussion in the      order in particular to avoid or reduce the risk
                                    workshop revealed gaps in media education         of civil society losing confidence in new tech-
                                    and agreed there was a need for a new set of      nological possibilities.”
                                    information skills. The most salient takeaways

14
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Madrid 2010

Madrid 2010

At the third EuroDIG in Madrid (29 – 30 April         for copyright infringements and new sanctions
2010), media and content issues were the top-         were being used such as cutting off access to
ic of Plenary 1: “Online content policies in          the Internet.
Europe – where are we going?” and were                    With regard to the blocking of Internet con-
touched upon during two workshops: Work-              tent, reference was made to contemporary
shop 3: “Internet as a platform for innova-           legislative initiatives to block child pornogra-
tion and development of new business mod-             phy websites and to tackling the problem at
els” and Workshop 5: “Children and social             the source by taking down websites. It was
media – opportunities and risks, rules and            noted that procedural safeguards and mini-
responsibilities”.                                    mum requirements when applying blocking
                                                      mechanisms were being developed.
The first part of Plenary 1 dealt with questions          It was pointed out that a common policy
of liability, i.e. who was responsible for what on    direction exists in Europe. The EU Directive
the Internet. The second part covered the issue       2000/31/EC on electronic commerce set out
of blocking content by the Internet industry.         rules for the liability of providers of informa-
    The following questions were asked: What          tion society services. With regard to users’ lia-
direction was European content policy head-           bility for their online activity, no common
ing in? Was there a common direction? Was it          rules exist, however.
on the right track, and if not, what should be            On the question of blocking, it was apparent
changed and how?                                      that a variety of national level practices exist-
    Judging from the discussion, the liability of     ed, ranging from a “no blocking at all” policy
Internet service providers (ISPs) seemed to           to quite drastic measures to remove online
have a stable legal framework. However, de-           content.
termining whether or not they had “actual                 Turning to the question of whether Europe
knowledge” of illegal content made matters            was on the right track, the workshop noted
more complicated.                                     that there was no clear common or holistic
    It was pointed out that users were increas-       strategy that could be identified in the two spe-
ingly held liable for their online activities, e.g.   cific areas of liability and blocking. A crucial

                                                                                                                                          15
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Madrid 2010

                                    question was that it had become increasingly        ensured in relation to the freedom to receive
                                    unclear – in particular with regard to user-gen-    and impart information.
                                    erated content – what “actual knowledge of il-
                                    legal activity or information” meant which          Many of the innovations and new business
                                    could lead to the liability of the service pro-     models discussed in Workshop 3 related to
                                    vider. Some workshop participants claimed           online content. The digitalisation of cultural
                                    that the courts – not the service providers –       and heritage content was generally support-
                                    should decide upon the legality of the content.     ed. The challenge was how to develop sustain-
                                    Some were afraid that increasing the liability      able business models where creators were re-
                                    of service providers could lead to over-cau-        munerated and a return on investment was
                                    tious behaviour which would be in conflict          assured. Specific points and proposals made
                                    with the freedom of expression of users. Sev-       during the workshop debate included:
                                    eral interventions questioned the proportion-       • European legislation should be har-
                                    ality of sanctions for illegal online activities.      monised, suppressing territorial bound-
                                       With regard to blocking, a number of partic-        aries and obstacles such as licensing rights
                                    ipants questioned the practice in general, re-         at the national or regional level.
                                    ferring to other methods of combating illegal       • Stop the “old” Europe from being “old”: if
                                    activities at the source of the problem. Some          opportunities are to be created for Euro-
                                    argued that in the vast majority of cases, take-       pean companies, it must be possible to
                                    down could be achieved within hours, even in           promote projects for global markets.
                                    cross-border cases. In addition, practical prob-    • Access to online content should be made
                                    lems, such as the efficiency of blocking and           possible from any country or territory if
                                    the probability of “over-blocking,” needed to          national IP-based access restrictions were
                                    be taken into consideration. Participants who          lifted. A space or platform should be creat-
                                    were in favour of blocking mechanisms re-              ed to promote dialogue and cooperation
                                    ferred to them as “a second best solution”:            agreements between the different national
                                    While taking down the content and hunting              stakeholders.
                                    down the criminals should be the priority,          • New business models should explore and
                                    blocking had proven to be fast and effective.          develop “mash-up” digital derivative
                                    There was general agreement that the propor-           works (in contrast with the direct transla-
                                    tionality of any blocking measure should be            tion of analogue content in the digital

16
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Madrid 2010 / Belgrade 2011

   world), and conclude agreements between          • It was often the case that the same young
   content creators, telco operators and con-         people are susceptible to harm online as
   tent aggregators in order to share revenue.        offline.
                                                    • It was also argued by some participants
Workshop 5 considered the opportunities and           that an excessively protective approach to
risks in children’s use of social media, and dis-     children’s use of the Internet can be count-
cussed what kind of rules would be needed             er-productive.
and who should impose them. The following
conclusions were drawn:                             In conclusion, the workshop proposed that
• The inclusion of the voice of children and        media literacy should be one of the priority is-
   young people was considered to be benefi-        sues of Internet governance, and that parents
   cial in influencing public discourse.            and teachers needed support in addressing
• It was seen as a risk that many parents           this need.
   were not capable of teaching their children
   how to use the Internet safely.

Belgrade 2011

By the time EuroDIG held its fourth meeting in      countries, digital statecraft was elevated to
Belgrade (30 – 31 May 2011), the Internet had       the forefront of diplomacy.
acquired a new role on the world stage, ap-
plauded by many, detested by others. Unhin-         The title of the second part of the opening ses-
dered by national or physical borders, the In-      sion – “Internet for democracy. Tool, or
ternet was seen as carrying the message of          trap, or what?” – reflected the heady atmos-
human rights and liberal democracy, helping         phere of the Arab Spring and other manifesta-
to topple political tyrants of both the left and    tions of the Internet’s revolutionary potential
the right of the political spectrum. In some        while also warning that the new tools of the

                                                                                                                                         17
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Belgrade 2011

                                    Internet age were available to the enemies of        some governments had become more sophis-
                                    democracy too.                                       ticated in resorting to these methods, it was
                                        Similarly, several other EuroDIG sessions        emphasised that such behavior was not con-
                                    addressed wider social and economic themes.          sistent with European standards and princi-
                                    Plenary 3 discussed “New media, freedoms             ples, and was therefore unacceptable. Solu-
                                    and responsibilities” and Workshop 5 fo-             tions must reflect European standards and
                                    cused on “Freedom of expression and hate             principles, as well as the plurality of European
                                    speech”. The theme of Workshop 6 was “Dig-           societies. Restricting rights and freedoms
                                    ital literacy towards economic and social            could not be the answer to public problems
                                    development” and Workshop 7 addressed                like malicious content. The way forward was
                                    the challenge of “Cybercrime and social net-         rather to address these issues in society. A free
                                    working sites – a new threat?”.                      society should retain a free Internet.
                                                                                             During the debate in the opening session it
                                    In his video keynote speech at the opening           was argued that the Internet was a valuable
                                    session, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Af-        tool for helping countries and societies in tran-
                                    fairs, Carl Bildt, delivered a strong plea for Eu-   sition to promote democratisation. The role of
                                    ropeans to put the freedom of the Internet first     law enforcement had to be reconsidered so
                                    and not to over-regulate, as seemed to be hap-       that principles like openness were not endan-
                                    pening even in democratic societies: “Our em-        gered and abused for security reasons. De-
                                    phasis should be on the freedom issues of the        bates on this issue needed to include all stake-
                                    net. There are other voices in the world that        holders and parties.
                                    are pressing in a different direction. We should         Youth representatives underlined that the
                                    be on our guard against those particular ten-        Internet was not just about the benefits prom-
                                    dencies. And I believe we need to develop as         ised by new technology, but about what peo-
                                    unified and as strong European voice on these        ple used it for – this could be good or bad. New
                                    issues as we can.”                                   options like e-voting systems might be useful
                                        Carl Bildt also pointed out that the Internet    tools but first of all more effective public par-
                                    paved the way for freedom of information and         ticipation in democracy must be promoted
                                    made it much harder for dictatorships and au-        and achieved.
                                    thoritarian regimes to control it. Blocking and          Discussions pointed out the need for more
                                    filtering of content should be avoided. While        public awareness of the positive and negative

18
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Belgrade 2011

aspects of social networks, particularly the pri-   sumers to decide on trust in media content. A
vacy implications and potential for interfer-       new Council of Europe proposed recommen-
ence.                                               dation on a new notion of media was discussed
                                                    as a way forward in identifying and distin-
Taking note of significant changes in the me-       guishing the graduated freedoms and respon-
dia landscape, including the dissemination,         sibilities for the emerging media and interme-
exchange and personalisation of information,        diaries.
Plenary 3 concluded that users’ media con-
sumption habits and behaviours were chang-          Workshop 5 noted that it was difficult to re-
ing. There was a clear indication that the de-      solve the issue of freedom of expression and
clining circulation of print media was due to its   hate speech. Different national definitions of
being replaced by access to free and interac-       hate speech were referred to in the context of
tive digital media, especially by younger users.    internationally-accepted principles.
The feeling of communicating with the whole             It was pointed out that the Budapest Con-
world was underlined as a unique feature of         vention on Cybercrime drawn up by the Coun-
the new media.                                      cil of Europe was open to signatories of non-
   Trust in and the reliability of online content   member states. The Council had launched
were considered to be key aspects of media in       specific initiatives to promote restrictions on
the future, noting in particular the trade-off      hate speech and tolerance education, with
between providing personal data to third par-       greater emphasis on the latter. The role of ed-
ties and access to apparently “free” media          ucation, rather than of legislation, was also
content. In this context, media literacy was        highlighted, as was the importance of educat-
considered with regard to the verification of       ing children from a much younger age.
sources as being trusted and reliable, consis-          Attempts to make service providers and
tent with other professional media standards.       other intermediaries responsible for prevent-
   It was stressed that the regulation of media     ing hate speech were seen as a disturbing de-
freedoms and responsibilities should be limit-      velopment. The South-East Europe television
ed, flexible and proportionate, with particular     news regional exchange, ERNO, was presented
regard for human rights. Some participants          as an example of successful cooperation
questioned the need for new regulation and,         among broadcasters in how to identify and ad-
as a corollary, placing the burden on con-          dress the problem of hate speech.

                                                                                                                                       19
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Belgrade 2011

                                    Stakeholders discussing digital literacy in              Tomorrow’s challenges lay within the in-
                                    Workshop 6 discussed the continued exis-              creased use of Internet technology and appli-
                                    tence of the digital divide, firstly with regard to   cations on mobile devices. How was society
                                    access (infrastructure, technical equipment           going to deal with the transparency aspects of
                                    and devices and geographical differences);            these applications and services?
                                    and secondly regarding use by different groups
                                    of people (children, youth, parents, teachers         There was discussion in Workshop 7 about the
                                    etc).                                                 legitimate collection, use and transfer by so-
                                       The workshop focused on what should be             cial media networks of aggregated personal
                                    done to reduce these gaps, as well as address-        data and their interception by third parties for
                                    ing tomorrow’s challenges. The overall goal           criminal purposes. Identity theft as a crime
                                    was to make everyone literate online, able to         was discussed with regard to the application
                                    act independently and to make informed                of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
                                    choices and decisions.                                    Reclaiming one’s personal identity, in par-
                                       The issue of access was highly important           ticular the ability of users to complain or seek
                                    and linked to social inclusion. One solution for      redress across borders (within the EU and be-
                                    capacity building in Europe had been to estab-        yond) was underlined. The provision of hot-
                                    lish “telecentres” as service providers for peo-      lines and more effective dialogue with the
                                    ple to access computers and the Internet.             providers of social networks were also re-
                                       Regarding Internet use, it was agreed that         ferred to.
                                    youth organisations should be incentivised to             There was also discussion about the lack of
                                    offer more opportunities for young people.            awareness of users – including children and
                                    Peer-to-peer learning programmes needed to            their parents – and the need to empower them
                                    be extended (e.g. parents-parents, teachers-          with regard to the configuration of their priva-
                                    teachers, young people). School curricula             cy settings to protect their personal security
                                    needed to be redesigned in order to empower           and data. The “right to be forgotten” on social
                                    children and young people; minimum e-liter-           networks was also discussed as a means to
                                    acy standards needed to be defined and                empower users in managing their online iden-
                                    agreed.                                               tities.

20
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Stockholm 2012

Stockholm 2012

The fifth EuroDIG meeting in Stockholm (14 –       media ecosystem change?” which sought to
15 June 2012) bore the mark of Sweden’s            answer three questions. Firstly, how tradi-
strong commitment to the freedom and open-         tional media would cope in the new world.
ness of the Internet. This was against the back-   Secondly, how content would be accessed
drop of actions by the U.S.A. during the previ-    and whether the Internet would remain
ous year to strengthen the extraterritorial        “free.” And thirdly, how journalism would
reach of their copyright regime (SOPA, PIPA,       need to adapt and change in the world of new
ACTA etc. ...).                                    media.
                                                       On the first topic, the panelists (who were
The key message of Plenary 1 on “Intellectual      mostly Swedish) saw the coexistence of tradi-
property rights in the digital environment”        tional and new media in a positive light. It was
was its conclusion that “intellectual property     valued as an interactive relationship from
rights and the right to freedom of expression      which the former derived benefits in terms of
and access to information regardless of fron-      crowdsourcing and feedback. Another feature
tiers in the digital environment, cannot be re-    of the new landscape was that politicians and
solved solely by traditional approaches, laws,     businesses could use social media to bypass
rules and regulations, nor by individual stake-    traditional media – for example tweeting
holders such as governments. There was a           statements instead of holding a press confer-
need to explore new ways of reconciling the        ence.
interests of rights-holders and users, especial-       When it came to access to and distribution
ly young people, who wanted to share infor-        of the media, old and new technologies com-
mation and content in a lawful manner. Open        peted in developing their business models,
access and the public interest were key con-       even clashing occasionally. However, there
cerns in this respect.                             was consensus agreement that markets would
                                                   resolve the situation and that no new regula-
The only session directly related to the media     tion was needed.
was Workshop 6 on “Digital broadcast merg-             As to what would happen to journalism and
ing with Internet services – How will the          its practitioners, journalists were getting new

                                                                                                                                      21
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Stockholm 2012 / Lisbon 2013

                                     tools and needed to master them. They were              Even though the student said it was totally
                                     also seen in new roles as moderators or refer-       against what he had learned at the journalism
                                     ees of social media. A journalism student par-       school, he also expressed the hope of less sen-
                                     ticipating in the workshop expressed it this         sationalism in the future: “We write headlines
                                     way: “The role of a journalist, as I see it in the   that generate clicks. I think that in the future,
                                     future, is that you have to be someone that          we have to take a step back. I hear from friends
                                     you can trust. From information that is pub-         that, oh, you are going to be a journalist. Oh,
                                     lished by journalists, you should know that          you just write that stuff that clicks. Lucky for us
                                     you have both sides of a story, maybe three          we have wiki leaks that do the job. That’s how
                                     sides of a story.”                                   my generation looks at journalists ...”

                                     Lisbon 2013

                                     In its media and content discussion, the sixth       session agreed that while the answers to these
                                     EuroDIG in Lisbon (20 – 21 June 2013) decided        questions had been relatively uncomplicated
                                     to follow the money trail: “Who makes money          in the pre-digital world, the evolution of the
                                     with content? Who should pay for content?”           Internet had led to significant changes in
                                     was the theme of Plenary 6. Related topics           terms of production, distribution and access
                                     “Culture, copyright and the future of access         to content, thus making it more difficult to
                                     to digital content in Europe” were the issues        find straightforward answers. Technological
                                     discussed in Workshop 2. “Cross-border hate          changes had created disruptions in the con-
                                     speech and defamation – living together on-          tent-related business, led to an increase in the
                                     line” was the theme of Workshop 8.                   quantity of available content, and created
                                                                                          new possibilities for users to access it.
                                     Plenary 6 put the question quite bluntly: who           When the concept of copyright was origi-
                                     makes money with whose content, on whose             nally introduced, its primary aim was to re-
                                     terms? And who pays for this content? The            ward writers and artists, while at the same

22
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Lisbon 2013

time allowing wider access to content and en-       solutions for some of these challenges, one of
abling the progress of science. However, the        them being the provision of free licences by
new realities of the online space have over-        the Creative Commons initiative. Opposing
whelmed the copyright model and created             views maintained that such solutions did not
challenges that need to be addressed in order       address the situation of people who needed to
to ensure that the interests of all parties – no-   support themselves from their creative activi-
tably the content producers, publishers and         ties. The question, however, is whether to sup-
consumers – are taken into account and pro-         port the current model or move towards
tected.                                             something new.
                                                       For some participants, a suitable approach
Three main issues were raised in the plenary        would be to have all stakeholders work on
discussion in relation to the existing copyright    best practice recommendations which would
model:                                              eventually form the basis of national or inter-
• The matter of choice: while there was a           national legislation. This would help ensure
   need to allow creators to have an econom-        fairness throughout value chains. For effective
   ic gain from their creative activities, it was   solutions, collaborative approaches among all
   necessary to take into account the fact          stakeholders were needed in order to make
   that there were creators who did not nec-        such solutions effective.
   essarily want to make money out of their            Finally, a question was raised as to whether
   content and they should be entitled to ex-       the copyright debate followed traditional
   ercise their choice;                             paths too narrowly and whether for example
• To what extent did the existing models al-        the circulation of the content rather than the
   low access to content, under what circum-        content itself was the problem.
   stances, and with what limitations and ex-
   ceptions;                                        Starting from the premise that ability to ac-
• To what extent did content creators really        cess, share and re-use cultural content was in
   benefit from the economic value of their         the public interest, and that the current Euro-
   content?                                         pean copyright framework was not providing
                                                    the best support, Workshop 2 discussed
Some participants emphasised that there             which issues would need to be addressed in
were alternatives to copyright which offered        any reform of EU copyright law. The conclu-

                                                                                                                                      23
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Lisbon 2013

                                     sion was drawn that to be pioneers, it was nec-         ger of cyberspace fragmenting as a result
                                     essary to figure out how to create a copyright          of for example techniques like ISP blocks
                                     regime that encouraged innovation, with clear           and Geo-IP filtering that rejected connec-
                                     boundaries between commercial and non-                  tions coming to or from a geographic loca-
                                     commercial use.                                         tion and ISP blocks.
                                                                                         •   Importance of transparency: companies
                                     Workshop 8 discussed how to address hate                were dealing with the definition and re-
                                     speech and defamation in shared cross-border            striction of free speech by prohibiting hate
                                     online spaces where not only different nation-          speech and defamation in their terms of
                                     al laws but also different social values applied.       service. Therefore, measures taken by
                                     The questions raised in this workshop were:             these entities – especially takedown pro-
                                     • Were the current tools for handling cross-            cedures – needed to be fully transparent
                                         border hate speech and defamation effec-            for users in order to ensure fairness.
                                         tive?                                           •   The role of education in the prevention of
                                     • Could national laws or terms of service               hate speech and defamation was impor-
                                         deal efficiently with cross-border online           tant as demonstrated by the Council of Eu-
                                         defamation and how do they interface?               rope’s “No Hate Speech” youth campaign.
                                     • Did we have the tools and frameworks to           •   Hotlines and safer Internet centres were
                                         handle diversity in common cross-border             the most commonly available tools for In-
                                         online-spaces?                                      ternet users in Europe to combat online
                                                                                             hate speech and defamation.
                                     The discussion produced the following main          •   The importance of multi-stakeholder
                                     conclusions:                                            process: the problems of hate speech and
                                     • Risk of fragmentation: the current piece-             defamation must be addressed through
                                       meal solutions in different national juris-           open and inclusive dialogue in order to
                                       dictions for tackling the problem of hate             identify best practices and to avoid dispro-
                                       speech and defamation created the dan-                portionate policy and legal responses.

24
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Berlin 2014 / Sofia 2015

Berlin 2014

The seventh EuroDIG event was held in Berlin     • The intended purpose and the current
(12 – 13 June 2014) under the perhaps omi-         function of copyright laws needed to be re-
nous heading “Digital society at stake – Eu-       considered.
rope and the future of the Internet” in the      • Copyright laws permitted different usages
aftermath of Edward Snowden’s revelations          online and offline. Considering the current
about instances of mass surveillance by the US     digital reality, the same rights that apply
National Security Agency (NSA). Media and          offline should also apply online.
content themes were not a major focus for the    • Multi-stakeholder dialogue and collabora-
forum but the perennial topic of “Copyright        tion to elaborate on new alternative copy-
in the digital age” continued to be debated in     right regulation was generally encour-
Workshop 6 with the following contribution to      aged.
the EuroDIG messages that year:

Sofia 2015

The eighth meeting of EuroDIG in Sofia (4 – 5    the media. We faced a proliferation of informa-
December 2015) assessed the progress of          tion and media services. Young people rely
“Media in the digital age” in Plenary 1 and      less on traditional media and more on new
“EU copyright reform” in Workshop 6.             media, including social media. The customisa-
                                                 tion of information delivery had a narrowing
The outcomes of Plenary 1 were summarised        effect which can allow global Internet compa-
by the rapporteur as follows:                    nies to become gatekeepers for users. This
   There had been a massive transformation       raised issues of quality, diversity and reliabili-
of the media ecosystem and how people use        ty of information, as well as of trust. Partici-

                                                                                                                                         25
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Sofia 2015

                                     pants held diverging views about whether this      8. Do we need public service search engines
                                     was raising or lowering the diversity and qual-       or at least public service algorithms? Many
                                     ity of media and journalism. The participants         participants, including those from Eastern
                                     also explored questions concerning diversity          European countries, raised concerns about
                                     and quality in media and journalism and high-         alarming developments regarding media
                                     lighted the following:                                freedom and the relations between their
                                     1. Media regulation may need to be adapted            governments and the media.
                                        to the digital age as it does not necessarily
                                        deliver media diversity and quality.            The following messages from Workshop 6 in-
                                     2. How do we ensure the diversity of informa-      cluded a caveat that EuroDIG may not have a
                                        tion in the digital age? What standards are     sufficiently broad enough framework for Euro-
                                        needed?                                         pean copyright discussions:
                                     3. Do we need more regulation of new media         1. Copyright covers a wide range of problems
                                        and citizen journalism?                            for a large range of different actors. Sys-
                                     4. How can we enhance the protection and              tematic discussion on overall issues is diffi-
                                        social responsibility of non-professional          cult.
                                        journalism?                                     2. Copyright is contentious and remains an
                                     5. Is the title of a journalist being under-          area where consensus between all stake-
                                        mined by citizen journalism?                       holder groups is far away.
                                     6. Can millions of Internet users communi-         3. EuroDIG may not be the best platform to
                                        cate with each other in a meaningful way?          discuss how to further engage a broader
                                     7. Do we need a new concept of “public serv-          public in the ongoing European debates.
                                        ice journalism”?

26
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Brussels 2016

Brussels 2016

The ninth EuroDIG took place in Brussels (9 –           cycling occupies space and pushes out
10 June 2016) when disruptive impacts of the            other content.
Internet in the media and content sector were       •   Do we need gatekeepers back? Or should
analysed in Workshop 1: “Content is the                 some hierarchy be imposed on the infor-
king, revisited”. A technical reality check             mation deluge? More information doesn’t
about regulating content was undertaken in              lead to better informed people. Would
Workshop 3: “Technical basics everyone                  quality control be needed?
should know before discussing online con-           •   How to police hate speech? Media literacy
tent control”.                                          training might help. But it should be made
                                                        with an open mind. Angry speech is not
The title of Workshop 1 was in reference to             hate speech.
the 1996 essay by Bill Gates when he argued         •   Code of conduct for big platforms. Unity of
that “Content is where I expect much of the             the net under U.S. law?
real money will be made on the Internet, just       •   Has the Internet been good for democra-
as it was in broadcasting.” The workshop re-            cy? It has taken out the economic basis of
visited the essay to find out whether his               quality journalism. Even if we like free con-
prediction had become reality and if yes,               tent, there’s a price to pay.
did it still hold true after all the Internet-in-   •   Content will be produced and producers
duced transformations. The rapporteur out-              should be paid, but the structures don’t
lined the main points of the discussion as              necessarily remain the same.
follows:
• Who’s the king now: Platforms? Advertis-          The messages of Workshop 3 were expressed
   ing? Money? Soundbites? Or content, but          in three concise sentences:
   defined differently. Or down with the            1. A networked system is defined by open
   king, long live the people?                          and scalable standards (e.g. with regard to
• Content can now be produced and distrib-              the domain name system, IPv4, IPv6).
   uted by “everybody” and recycled without         2. The Internet’s architecture renders block-
   checking facts. Information inflated by re-          ing of access technically infeasible.

                                                                                                                                         27
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Brussels 2016 / Tallinn 2017

                                      3. Content control necessarily entails com-           forcement, and the rights of infrastructure
                                         plex questions surrounding freedom of ex-          providers to conduct business.
                                         pression, the legitimate interest of law en-

                                      Tallinn 2017

                                      EuroDIG held its tenth meeting in Tallinn (6 – 7    The rapporteur for Plenary 2 summarised the
                                      June 2017). As the Secretariat noted in the         main points of discussion as follows:
                                      summary report, there could not have been a         • “Fake news” had become a kind of buzz-
                                      better place to discuss the digital future and to     word and it was important to define what
                                      celebrate the 10th anniversary of EuroDIG than        it was and what it was not. It was not sim-
                                      in Estonia which is arguably the leading Euro-        ply bad journalism or news reporting that
                                      pean country in its use of new online technolo-       one didn’t agree with. “Fake news” was in
                                      gies and establishing new concepts such as            fact not news but was information inten-
                                      digital citizenship.                                  tionally disseminated in order to spread
                                         On a more sombre note, Estonia had also            confusion in society, or to discredit
                                      had first-hand experience of being targeted by        democracy or solely for economic gain.
                                      sustained and concentrated digital attacks,         • So-called “fake news” had fed the polari-
                                      both in terms of threats to cybersecurity and         sation of societies and this in turn created
                                      malicious content. Against this background            more opportunities for disinformation. It
                                      and in addition to other disturbing recent            disrupted the status of truth, undermined
                                      trends, Plenary 2 “The Internet in the post-          the value of objectivity and the principles
                                      truth era” assumed a particularly dark signif-        of professional journalism. People who
                                      icance. Workshop 7 meanwhile continued the            had felt constrained by objectivity who
                                      dialogue on copyright and discussed “The              didn’t like and trust it, were emancipating
                                      EU’s copyright reform proposal – which im-            themselves now that they had the tools.
                                      pacts on users’ fundamental rights?”                  The information landscape was not verti-

28
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Tallinn 2017

  cal any more. When the “old media” tried            current business models, with particular re-
  to check and correct user-generated sto-            gard to their incompatibility with new obli-
  ries, they in turn were accused of spread-          gations (e.g. content-filtering technologies).
  ing “fake news.”                                •   There was consensus that imposing filter-
• New norms were not needed; instead ex-              ing obligations on intermediaries was a
  isting ones should be implemented. Gov-             bad step that should be opposed.
  ernment regulation was not the way to           •   There was discussion about potential
  solve the “fake news” problem, and could            problems with automatic monitoring and
  lead to the suppression of legitimate voic-         whether this could affect other rights such
  es. Instead, existing mechanisms of self-           as human rights.
  regulation and co-regulation should be          •   Reform proposals should address other
  given a larger role; and new approaches             rights such as freedom of panorama (the
  should be discussed such as according               right to take photos or videos of public
  public trustee media status to platforms            buildings and monuments without regard
  which should become more accountable                to the rights of their creators). This includ-
  and transparent, e.g. about the standards           ed the harmonisation of both non-com-
  they applied in different countries.                mercial and commercial uses.
• Enhancing media literacy education was          •   The so-called “copyfighters” prepared a
  the most effective way of combating “fake           position paper reflecting the views of
  news” and should be taken to new heights.           young people on modern copyright re-
  Media literacy education should be seen as          form. They identified seven key areas in
  a political survival project for society, and       need of reform including: territoriality,
  a right for the individual, especially chil-        geo-blocking, fair use, intermediaries,
  dren. Skills and resources of journalists           remix culture, education – open access
  should also be enhanced.                            and ancillary rights of media publishers.
                                                  •   There was broad consensus that Article 13
The messages from Workshop 7 identified               of the draft directive was problematic; in
problems with the new EU copyright reform             particular there was uncertainty and con-
proposals at that time:                               cern about cultural heritage.
• There were concerns about how technology        •   There was a general consensus against
   revolutionised the commercial world and            geoblocking. However, it should be al-

                                                                                                                                        29
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Tallinn 2017 / Tbilisi 2018

                                        lowed for promotional purposes by artists         though it was recognised that this would
                                        timed with the release of content locally.        be very difficult.
                                      • A fair use exception to existing copyright      • The importance of educating users on
                                        exceptions should be future-proofed al-           copyright was underlined.

                                      Tbilisi 2018

                                      EuroDIG held its eleventh meeting in the capi-      b) disinformation when false information
                                      tal of Georgia, Tbilisi (5 – 6 June 2018). Ses-     is knowingly shared in order to cause
                                      sions relating to media and content included        harm; and c) malinformation, when gen-
                                      Plenary 2: “Information disorder: causes,           uine information is shared deliberately in
                                      risks and remedies”; Workshop 1: “Platform          order to cause harm.
                                      and data neutrality – Access to content” and      • In order to find effective remedies, it was
                                      Workshop 10: “Your freedom of expression            necessary to be clear about why disinfor-
                                      vs. mine – who’s in control”.                       mation is intentionally created, promoted
                                                                                          and amplified in the first place. Often it
                                      Plenary 2 took forward the theme of so-called       aimed to undermine and discredit democ-
                                      “fake news” from the previous year in Tallinn,      racy which can only thrive if people were
                                      with the opportunity to take into account a         able to make informed choices. Its methods
                                      year of intense analysis and research by the        were more indirect, ingenious and devious
                                      Council of Europe and the European Union in         than those of propaganda although both
                                      particular. The key messages from the session       may have the same ultimate objective.
                                      were:                                             • All stakeholder constituencies could each
                                      • Information disorder was much more than           play effective roles in countering disinfor-
                                         the crude description of “fake news”. It in-     mation. If governments used regulation as
                                         cluded a) misinformation when false infor-       a remedy, it should not be done in such a
                                         mation is shared but no harm is intended;        way as to undermine freedom of expres-

30
Media and Content: A Decade of Change | Tbilisi 2018

  sion. Before blocking non-acceptable con-         gorithms. On the one hand, their goal was
  tent, the social media platforms should be        to optimise the user’s experience. Why
  sure that they were directly tackling the         should companies disclose algorithms if
  cause of the problem, not merely the              they were protected by intellectual proper-
  symptoms. The established media – in-             ty rights and if they allowed platforms to
  cluding the public service media – should         improve users’ experience? On the other
  provide reliable information and fact-            hand, when private companies have
  checking based on ethical and profession-         achieved such high levels of importance
  al standards. The technical community             and influence in society and economic ac-
  should develop algorithms and AI-based            tivity, they should have some degree of ac-
  solutions that counter disinformation. Civil      countability.
  society should engage in producing narra-       • Concepts of corporate social responsibility
  tives that promote democratic values, ex-         were now well-established in many coun-
  pose the harmful impacts of disinforma-           tries and this could be used as a model for
  tion and counteract radicalisation.               social media platforms in determining the
                                                    appropriate balance of private commercial
Workshop 1 discussed the growing role of so-        interests and public responsibilities.
cial media platforms and considered their re-
sponsibilities. The participants concluded        Workshop 10 also considered issues of re-
that:                                             sponsibility and accountability, and its conclu-
• The debate around the neutrality of social      sions included the following:
   media platforms should go beyond Inter-        • Greater transparency in how algorithms
   net service providers, bearing in mind also       were developed was needed and there
   that the potentially different biases of on-      should be a public debate on the ap-
   line platforms could also lead to discrimi-       proaches taken by private companies.
   natory treatment of their users. The lack of   • When discussing ways to tackle disinfor-
   platform neutrality was particularly alarm-       mation, it was necessary to assess the im-
   ing due to their worldwide reach and mar-         plications for both democracy and free-
   ket dominance.                                    dom of expression.
• There was a divergence of views on              • Quality journalism was essential for main-
   whether platforms should disclose their al-       taining democracy.

                                                                                                                                       31
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