A panel discussion at the Global Security Forum 2019 deliberated the impacts of disinformation and ways to face the challenges.
Speaking at the discussion on the theme, 'General Overview on Disinformation: Exploring the Core Concepts and Threat Landscape,’ HE Dr Hessa S al-Jaber, former minister of communications and technology, commissoner, United Nations ITU Broadband Commission for Digital Development and chairperson of Es’hailSat said that fake news spreads very fast. She noted that is very easy to create such news and only strong laws can help in controlling such activities.
“If people want to create any disinformation, they need only a computer and a platform to disseminate any such news. Governments should implement strict laws, policies and regulations to control such news. There should also be a fine line between freedom of expression and privacy,” said Dr al-Jaber.
Dr al-Jaber stated that governments can do several things to control such news noting that some countries have enacted laws in this regard. She also added that countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, France and the United States have policies, laws and regulations to protect privacy, but without limiting or suppressing freedom of expression.
Al-Jaber also maintained that Social Media organisations have a responsibility to check the fake news and they should also be held accountable for such disinformation as there are many complex algorithms with the ability to detect fake news.
Giving the framing remarks at the discussion, Edward Stroz, founder and executive chairman, Stroz Friedberg said that ‘whatever the five senses are experiencing may not be the real facts’ and therefore people have to be cautious about all the information.
"Disinformation can be very destructive as it can destroy the strands of trust in international relations,” described, Jivan Gjorgjinski, chair of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, United Nations.
Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent, Yahoo News highlighted several incidents where fake news and disinformation created major problems among world leaders. JD Maddox, technology adviser for the Global Engagement Centre,US State Department highlighted that modern disinformation was a technology problem and needs technology solutions to overcome them. The session was moderated by by Peter Canellos, editor-at-large, Politico.