The Misinformation and Disinformation space at MozFest is ready and inviting session proposals that give space to prioritise the voices and experiences of the vulnerable communities who have experienced the misfortune of misinformation and disinformation. We’d also like to raise their voices to inform how technology moves on from the harms it has enabled. Please consider submitting a proposal for this year’s festival.
The manipulation of information and its malicious spreading is not a new invention within society. However, manipulated information has been bolstered by, grown in sophistication in great part, and been supported by advances in commercialised and exploitative technology within ‘big tech’ companies.
We see that the methods and mediums have evolved with technology, along with increasing maliciousness towards particular vulnerable communities. As targets of misinformation and disinformation campaigns, these communities experience further increased vulnerability and harm.
These campaigns ultimately cause harm, and incite hate, violence and distrust among communities. This is when we need to come together the most to confront the entities that seek to control this narrative.
Social media companies cannot hide behind the claim of being merely a ‘platform’ and maintain that they have no responsibility themselves in regulating the content of their sites. This approach would see the tech companies assume legal liability for content identified as harmful after it has been posted by users.
Excerpt from Parliament.uk - Disinformation and 'Fake News': Final Report
The players with the power in this field are the technology companies, and they are the spreaders of misinformation and disinformation, while our struggling civil society and governments attempt to put in place measurements that could have detrimental effects on our fundamental rights globally.
Hasty and shortsighted solutions to disinformation and misinformation endanger human rights. There will be an aftermath to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the measures governments put in place right now will determine what that looks like.
Eliska Pirkova, Europe Policy Analyst at Access Now - “Fighting misinformation and defending free expression during COVID-19: recommendations for states”
We can all play a key role in ensuring a healthier internet for those affected by misinformation and disinformation and welcome ideas on how best to do so, there are still questions that need to be answered. Can legislation keep up with the increasingly sophisticated ways that those who benefit from the spread of disinformation and misinformation create in order to seek the ends to their means?
In the German legislation NetzDG, “This legislation forces tech companies to remove hate speech from their sites within 24 hours, and fines them €20 million if it is not removed”. How much of a deterrent are these kinds of legislations and for whom? The social media platforms that unwittingly and unintentionally offer a platform for the spread of misinformation and disinformation or the systems of hate that will seek a way to harm those they want to in any achievable way?
There isn’t always agreement between authorities and society as to what is truthful—nor are authorities inherently correct.
Jillian C. York July 28, 2021, Electric Frontier Foundation - "Disentangling Disinformation: Not as Easy as it Looks"
How can we, the people, connected by the very technologies used as vehicles for misinformation and disinformation, best mobilise our stories, experiences and participation to contend with it and challenge those very vehicles of technology to prevent further harm to our global communities?
The Mozilla Festival is a place where activists from diverse global movements gather to fight for a more humane digital world. We come together at Mozfest in these spaces with the intention to collaborate and hold a safe and active space for these critical conversations to take place.
We ask of ourselves and our communities both with technological influence and those without: How does technology correct the harms caused by misinformation and disinformation and now, contribute to the open foundation of trust needed to reduce and remove the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation within our connected society?
Please submit to a proposal for the Misinformation and Disinformation space at MozFest if you want to:
- Share a story, where you have successfully exposed and removed or reduced misinformation/disinformation within your communities and organizations.
- Launch a project that supports a healthier internet that reduces mis and dis information.
- Co-create with community stakeholders improvements to existing tools and strategies that help fight against mis and dis information and make tools and the internet more effective for those that are most harmed by mis and dis information.
- Facilitate a collaborative and welcoming workshop on tools or strategies t
- Host a discussion on how misinformation and disinformation commonly is used in specific areas e.g. health information, elections or climate change. Particularly if you’re interested in an equal conversation between techies and non-techies.
- Share ideas and skills with a global community of open advocates. Perhaps on how to best identify mis and dis information and how to help your family or community to do the same.
Thinking of applying and don’t know how? Take a look at the guide that Mozfest have published
Do you have an idea, and not sure if it fits that call? It probably does. Do reach out to the mis and dis information space: [email protected]
A session submission can be edited and adapted post-submission so if you have an idea that is 70% there, submit and we can support you in developing the idea
The call for proposals is open until November 15th at 11:00AM Central European Time.
Eriol works at Simply Secure and has worked on complex problems like sustainable food systems, peace-building and crisis response technology with an open-source focus as well as being a part-time funded PhD researcher at Newcastle University's Open Lab looking at how designers participate in humanitarian and Human-rights focussed open-source software projects.
Eriol is a non-binary, queer person who uses they/them pronouns.