According to the newest study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, false news spreads in the cyberspace roughly six time faster than the truth. The problem is systemic and based not only on technological factors, but also on our cognitive biases. Clickbait prone algorithms, fuelled by our behavioural attraction to novelty, are only part of the problem that we are slowly starting to apprehend. From democratic processes, through social communication, to business operations, almost all spheres are threatened by potential disinformation and fake news campaigns.
There is no silver bullet that will help us to face this multilevel challenge. Currently, numerous attitudes and possible countermeasures are developed simultaneously around the world. This edition of the ECM provides readers with the European perspective on these phenomena. First and foremost, is the perspective involves a deeply interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach. You will find contributions from journalists, public policy analyst and startup representatives, with references to technological, social and legal layers of the issue. From the market perspective, disinformation is yet another customer-problem-solution opportunity that fosters the development of new technological and public relation products and services. From the societal point of view, disinformation disrupts mass communication and divides communities.
The role of media literacy and the need for new models of journalism are amongst the main proposals for addressing these issues. Finally, from the public policy viewpoint, disinformation may threaten the stability of the state and harm trust between citizens and elected representatives. Unfortunately, there are still no clear solutions that could help to challenge this phenomenon on the national and international level.
Cyberspace is changing the way we consume information. While we do not yet fully understand this revolution, digitisation is reshaping not only the industry, military or leisure, but also the way we communicate with the world. The innovative effort, which we widely discuss in the ECM, should be focused not only on boosting profitability or revenues but also on facing such great modern challenges as disinformation.
- Fake News and Populism: A Convergence of Interests by Vassilis Nedos
- Fake News in Real Business by Michał Fedorowicz
- Public Policy vs Disinformation: Developing European Union’s Approach by Barbara Sztokfisz
- TruthNest: A Service Assisting Users Assess the Trustworthiness of Information Found Online by Nikos Sarris
- No Fake News is Good News – Dealing with Disinformation at CYBERSEC – Brussels Leaders’ Foresight by Ziemowit Jóźwik