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Online disinformation and the EU's response

14-02-2019

The visibility of disinformation as a tool to undermine democracies increased in the context of Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine. It gained notoriety as a global challenge during the UK referendum on EU membership as well as the United States presidential election campaign in 2016. The European Union and the European Parliament are stepping up efforts to tackle online disinformation ahead of the May 2019 European elections.

The visibility of disinformation as a tool to undermine democracies increased in the context of Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine. It gained notoriety as a global challenge during the UK referendum on EU membership as well as the United States presidential election campaign in 2016. The European Union and the European Parliament are stepping up efforts to tackle online disinformation ahead of the May 2019 European elections.

Europe's online encyclopaedias: Equal access to knowledge of general interest in a post-truth era?

19-12-2018

The post-truth era – in which emotions trump evidence, while trust in institutions, expertise and mainstream media is declining – is putting our information ecosystem under strain. At a time when information is increasingly being manipulated for ideological and economic purposes, public access to sources of trustworthy general-interest knowledge – such as national online encyclopaedias – can help boost our cognitive resilience. Basic, reliable background information about history, culture, society ...

The post-truth era – in which emotions trump evidence, while trust in institutions, expertise and mainstream media is declining – is putting our information ecosystem under strain. At a time when information is increasingly being manipulated for ideological and economic purposes, public access to sources of trustworthy general-interest knowledge – such as national online encyclopaedias – can help boost our cognitive resilience. Basic, reliable background information about history, culture, society and politics is an essential part of our societies' complex knowledge ecosystem, and an important tool for anyone searching for knowledge, facts or figures.

Societal costs of “Fake news” in the Digital Single Market

14-12-2018

This in-depth analysis explores the mechanisms of “fake news” and its societal costs in the Digital Single Market. It describes the risks to the integrity of information and to the integrity of elections. It highlights the roles of the various actors involved in the production and amplification of such information disorders. Finally, it outlines responses that are being tested in different parts of Europe to deal with the issue. The document has been provided by Policy Department A at the request ...

This in-depth analysis explores the mechanisms of “fake news” and its societal costs in the Digital Single Market. It describes the risks to the integrity of information and to the integrity of elections. It highlights the roles of the various actors involved in the production and amplification of such information disorders. Finally, it outlines responses that are being tested in different parts of Europe to deal with the issue. The document has been provided by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

'Fake news' [What Think Tanks are thinking]

14-09-2018

Attempts at influencing or distorting elections in the United States and other countries, including some European Union Member States, have drawn attention to what is commonly referred to as ‘fake news’, or false news posing as factual stories. Although the phenomenon of generating misleading news stories is at least as old as the printing press, the growth of social media has led to a very significant proliferation of this phenomenon. Some outlets use deceitful headlines and content to boost readership ...

Attempts at influencing or distorting elections in the United States and other countries, including some European Union Member States, have drawn attention to what is commonly referred to as ‘fake news’, or false news posing as factual stories. Although the phenomenon of generating misleading news stories is at least as old as the printing press, the growth of social media has led to a very significant proliferation of this phenomenon. Some outlets use deceitful headlines and content to boost readership, in a search for higher advertising revenue. Other sources, often sponsored by certain state actors, are accused of spreading ‘fake news’ for entirely political ends. In March 2018, the European Commission published the Final Report of the High Level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation, which proposes ways to combat the phenomenon. In April a Commission communication followed, entitled ‘Tackling online disinformation: a European Approach.’

EP-EUI Roundtable on Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in Europe

14-09-2018

Proceedings summarise the EP-EUI roundtable on the Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in Europe. The roundtable with academics from European University Institute involved MEP Róża THUN (Chair of the Digital Single Market Working Group of the Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection), MEP Mady DELVAUX (MEP), Mr Riccardo RIBERA D’ALCALA, Director-General of DG IPOL, European Parliament, Ms Catelijne MULLER (European Economic and Social Committee), and Dr Cecile HUET, the Deputy Head ...

Proceedings summarise the EP-EUI roundtable on the Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in Europe. The roundtable with academics from European University Institute involved MEP Róża THUN (Chair of the Digital Single Market Working Group of the Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection), MEP Mady DELVAUX (MEP), Mr Riccardo RIBERA D’ALCALA, Director-General of DG IPOL, European Parliament, Ms Catelijne MULLER (European Economic and Social Committee), and Dr Cecile HUET, the Deputy Head of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Unit in DG CNECT This document was prepared by Policy Department A in the framework of scientific cooperation between European Parliament and European University Institute.

Külső szerző

Luis Carlos Matos

Countering hybrid threats: EU and the Western Balkans case

06-09-2018

The aim of the workshop, held on 26 February 2018, was to assess and discuss the EU’s approach to hybrid threats in its neighbourhood using the Western Balkans as a case study, in the context of the extensive use of propaganda by Russia and its meddling into several elections and in the aftermath of the 2014 events in Ukraine and the Russian annexation of Crimea. The first speaker, Jean-Jacques Patry, presented the concept of hybrid threat at various levels and the EU approach and measures to tackle ...

The aim of the workshop, held on 26 February 2018, was to assess and discuss the EU’s approach to hybrid threats in its neighbourhood using the Western Balkans as a case study, in the context of the extensive use of propaganda by Russia and its meddling into several elections and in the aftermath of the 2014 events in Ukraine and the Russian annexation of Crimea. The first speaker, Jean-Jacques Patry, presented the concept of hybrid threat at various levels and the EU approach and measures to tackle it, particularly in the Western Balkans. The second speaker, Nicolas Mazzucchi, delivered a presentation on Russia’s declining influence in the Western Balkans (on behalf of Isabelle Facon, who authored the briefing but could not attend the workshop) and added some of his own analysis on energy and cyber issues. The presentations were followed by a debate with members of the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament.

Külső szerző

Isabelle FACON, Nicolas MAZZUCCHI, Jean-Jacques PATRY

Latest on the digital economy [What Think Tanks are thinking]

20-07-2018

The digital revolution, which is reshaping the global economy and societies, offers numerous opportunities, but also poses many challenges, thereby putting governments in a dilemma on how to shape it. While empowering individuals in many ways and spurring impressive inventions, it poses threats of cyber-attacks and privacy abuse. It also raises concern about the future of the labour and social security markets. This note offers links to commentaries and studies on the digital economy by major international ...

The digital revolution, which is reshaping the global economy and societies, offers numerous opportunities, but also poses many challenges, thereby putting governments in a dilemma on how to shape it. While empowering individuals in many ways and spurring impressive inventions, it poses threats of cyber-attacks and privacy abuse. It also raises concern about the future of the labour and social security markets. This note offers links to commentaries and studies on the digital economy by major international think tanks. Earlier papers on the same topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in May 2017.

Global Trendometer - Essays on medium- and long-term global trends - July 2018

18-07-2018

The EU faces challenges from the outside and the inside. Most of those are the symptoms of big underlying trends, and handling them needs foresight. The Global Trendometer tries to provide foresight for decision makers in the EU by analysing the changes in these long-term trends. This publication does not offer answers or make recommendations. It presents summarised information derived from a range of carefully selected sources. This issue of the Global Trendometer analyses long-term trends on India ...

The EU faces challenges from the outside and the inside. Most of those are the symptoms of big underlying trends, and handling them needs foresight. The Global Trendometer tries to provide foresight for decision makers in the EU by analysing the changes in these long-term trends. This publication does not offer answers or make recommendations. It presents summarised information derived from a range of carefully selected sources. This issue of the Global Trendometer analyses long-term trends on India, the labour-share of income, and democracy and artificial intelligence. It also features two-pagers on geoengineering, remittances, food security in China, economic waves, the US after Trump, public procurement and deep fakes.

Foreign influence operations in the EU

10-07-2018

Attempting to influence political decision-making beyond one's own political sphere is not a new phenomenon – it is an integral part of the history of geopolitics. Whereas hard power relies on military and economic force, the soft power of a state involves public diplomacy and dialogue on values, cultures and ideas, which should normally correspond with its behaviour abroad. Although the extent is hard to measure, democratic states whose values match the prevailing global norms – pluralism, fundamental ...

Attempting to influence political decision-making beyond one's own political sphere is not a new phenomenon – it is an integral part of the history of geopolitics. Whereas hard power relies on military and economic force, the soft power of a state involves public diplomacy and dialogue on values, cultures and ideas, which should normally correspond with its behaviour abroad. Although the extent is hard to measure, democratic states whose values match the prevailing global norms – pluralism, fundamental rights and freedoms, the rule of law as a principle within states and in international relations – and exert this influence by contributing to the prevention and resolution of conflicts, traditionally appear more attractive, thus having more soft power leverage. However, influence can also serve purposes of interference and destabilisation. Authoritarian state actors struggle to project soft power while engaging in disruptive or destructive behaviour. Instead, some state actors see a means of reaching their goals by making democratic actors, systems and values appear less attractive, through a number of overt and covert instruments. The tools are constantly evolving. Today, social media combines the oral tradition with new electronic means of dissemination, enabling (potentially disruptive) messages to spread instantaneously. Disinformation can be, and is being, combined with other instruments in an increasingly diverse, hybrid 'toolbox' that authoritarian state actors have at their disposal. In recent years, awareness in the research community of online disinformation by state actors has increased around the world, not least in the context of the United Kingdom referendum on EU membership and the US presidential election in 2016. Although their visibility increases in the context of elections and referendums, influence campaigns are not limited to democratic processes.

The legal framework to address “fake news”: possible policy actions at the EU level

15-06-2018

This paper argues that the current policy initiatives adopted by the European Commission are meaningful, but still incomplete. The policy response to online disinformation should ideally rely on: (i) the promotion of responsible behaviour in conveying information to end users; (ii) the enactment of a proactive media policy aimed at promoting pluralism and improving the exposure of diverse content to end users; and (iii) the empowerment of end users through media literacy initiatives, and supports ...

This paper argues that the current policy initiatives adopted by the European Commission are meaningful, but still incomplete. The policy response to online disinformation should ideally rely on: (i) the promotion of responsible behaviour in conveying information to end users; (ii) the enactment of a proactive media policy aimed at promoting pluralism and improving the exposure of diverse content to end users; and (iii) the empowerment of end users through media literacy initiatives, and supports to user behaviour.

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