Fake news, a term used almost daily and a byproduct of the rapid spread of social media networks, will be one of the main topics in the first digital policy conference on “Cyprus in the Digital Agenda” on Thursday in Nicosia.
Despite rapid changes in the development of social media and the spread of social media networks, verifying or cross checking information remains the main philosophy behind real news.
The negative impact of the lack of due diligence took centre stage in the last US elections, when allegations of misleading information and deceptive ads on social media, with Russia reportedly behind it, handed the presidency to Donald Trump.
Thousands of ads with divisive political messages were promoted to millions of social media users, according to data, showing in the most telling way how fake news can have a negative impact on the political discourse.
'This is a sign of the times precisely because of the mass media in the digital age but also the power that social media sites now have, such as Facebook and Twitter'
According to Maria Eracleous of Kathimerini Cyprus, “one could say that this is a sign of the times precisely because of the mass media in the digital age but also the power that social media sites now have, such as Facebook and Twitter.”
“Of course, Cypriot news is not immune from the scourge of the fake news,” Eracleous says, adding that it is widely seen as a negative development with 83% of Europeans seeing it as a threat to democracy as well as a social problem.
This topic will be discussed during the digital policy conference on “Cyprus in the Digital Agenda” on Thursday at the Filoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia.
The keynote speaker will be Jivka Petkova, Multimedia Chief Editor for the European Commission, while Alexis Papachelas, Greece’s Kathimerini Executive Editor, will also jump into the discussion. Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, will also weigh in from a remote location.
The overall aim of the conference, with the support of MTN, is to present the technological achievements and breakthroughs that are changing people’s lives every day, while also fostering discussion on their implementation in Cyprus.
The conference themes for this year, besides how Europe is addressing the “Fake News” outbreak, cover electrification, solar energy and artificial intelligence, new ways in multi-screen marketing, and the importance of quality content.
The conference will be a great resource for those who want to know how is Europe addressing the fake news outbreak, what areas need attention including education, and what are some of the best practices in dealing with this phenomenon.