A panelist at the World Economic Forum’s Davo conference suggested on Thursday that “exclusion lists” are needed for sources that are pushing “disinformation” and that those sources need to be demonitized.
During a panel titled “Defending Truth”, Jeanne Bourgault, the president and CEO of the international nonprofit organization Internews, dicussed how to stop the spread of “disinformation”, the Daily Caller reported.
Internews provides “support” to independent media outlets in more than 100 countries, Internews’ website claims.
“Global trust in institutions is eroding, reflected in how 40% of people consistently trust news. Empowering internet users with media information literacy, advancing information integrity and enhancing transparency are vital for addressing the spread of false information,” the WEF‘s website states.
The panel discussed the question “What actions do stakeholders need to take to preserve a healthy trust ecosystem?”
The solution that Bourgault came up with was that we need to do a better job protecting people from being exposed to “inaccurate information” and to develop lists or guides for advertisers to use that will tell them where to spend their money and where not to.
“Disinformation makes money, and we need to follow that money, and we need to work with, in particular, the global advertising industry,” Bourgault said. “A lot of those dollars go to pretty bad content. So you can work really hard on exclusion lists or inclusion lists just to really try to … focus their ad dollars toward the good news and information. The accurate and relevant news and information.”
According to Internews’ the platform states that “we believe everyone deserves trustworthy news and information to make informed decisions about their lives and power to account”.
“We train journalists and digital rights activists, tackle disinformation, and offer business expertise to help media outlets become financially sustainable,” the website states.
Fellow panelist Vera Jourová, vice president for values and transparency at the European Commission, claimed that “disinformation is a security threat”.
“And maybe not many noticed, but it was part of the Russian military doctrine that they will start information war, Jourová said. “And we are in it now. How we think about it in the [European Union]: We are focusing on improving of the system where the people will get the facts right.”
Jouravá claimed that the EU is not trying to censor opinions or language, but that social media companies are now forced by law to remove anything that they deem to be disinformation. The “last resort solution” Jouravá believes is “law enforcement”.
The program is currently in the United States as well. GDI, an United Kingdom-based nonprofit organization, works with at least two firms based in the United States to rank news outlets for how much risk they pose.
The firms have “exclusion lists” which it sells to online advertising firms so that those firms can demonetize certain content, the Washington Examiner reported last year.
While the lists are not made public, the firm does list the top 10 lowest-risk online news outlets as well as the ten riskiest online news outlets. Among the firms on the lowest risk category are left leaning news outlets such as The New York Times, ProPublica and Buzzfeed. Among the outlets that the group deems to be high risk for disinformation are TheBlaze, The Daily Wire and Newsmax.
Human Rights First, a left-leaning nonprofit group, states that “Misinformation and disinformation are contributing toviolent extremism and public health crises globally and represent a direct threat to human rights”.