Combat fake news

In view of the changing practices of today’s users, there is no circumventing the need to develop rules for the governance of social media. Five guidelines provide direction.

27.03.2019 · Economics, Social Sciences, Spatial Research · Leibniz Institute for Media Research · News · Research result

Information on the Internet is often “manipulative, full of half-truths or even used in a targeted manner as state propaganda”, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out at the opening of the new Federal Intelligence Service headquarters in Berlin in Febru-ary 2019. For that reason, she said, “We must learn to deal with fake news as an element of hybrid warfare.” (Federal Chancellery 2019)

Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube and Twitter are in-creasingly becoming vehicles for strategic content deployment by States in (dis)information operations. These platforms – collectively termed “social media” – offer their users a multitude of opportunities for information-gathering, networking, opinion-forming and communication. These processes need rules and governance – that much is obvious. What is less clear is why existing regulatory mechanisms have failed, thus far, to impose effective curbs on hate speech and disinformation.

This issue of Spotlight looks at the successes and shortcomings of current norm-building processes and efforts to regulate social media, particularly at regional and global level. On this basis, five guidelines which may be useful in overcoming the failings of previous regulatory efforts are then identified.

Available as free download (PDF).

Original Publication

Kettemann, Matthias C. (2019): International Rules for Social Media: Safeguarding human rights, combating disinformation. Global Governance Spotlight 2|2019.

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