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Antje Grawe proposes measures to combat spread of false information

In the course of technical consultations on the right to freedom of expression and media freedom in Kyrgyzstan, the UN Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan, Antje Grawe, proposed a few crucial strategies and positive measures to combat the spread of false information, while at the same time refraining from disproportionately and unnecessarily curtailing freedom of expression and access to information.

According to her, fostering collaboration between governments, civil society, including the media, the engineering community and tech companies is essential.

Through multistakeholder partnerships, countries can develop effective frameworks to address the spread of fake news and disinformation, while safeguarding freedom of speech. This collaboration should aim to promote transparency, accountability, and responsible behavior in the dissemination of news and information.

She also believes thatinvesting in quality journalism and supporting independent media outlets is vital.

By promoting diverse and reliable sources of news and information, the spread of fake news and disinformation can be countered whilst ensuring that rights holders have access to accurate and trustworthy reporting.

Antje Grawe also noted that enhancing media literacy and critical thinking skills among the general public is crucial.

Media and Information Literacy programs, including those implemented with UN support and projects of multiple multilateral governmental organizations, bilateral donors or foreign non-governmental organizations, provide tools and help people acknowledge how to evaluate sources, discern credible information from falsehoods, and recognize biased narratives.

It is crucial to encourage media self-regulation through the establishment of and adherence to professional codes of conduct. This not only promotes ethical journalism practices but also allows for the identification and avoidance of fake news, misinformation, and disinformation within media organizations.

Tech companies, social media platforms and news organizations must act to curb the spread of disinformation

Leveraging technology to tackle fake news and disinformation is important. This includes exploring the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to detect and flag misleading content.

«However, it is crucial to strike a balance between technological interventions and protecting civil liberties, respecting privacy rights, and avoiding undue censorship. Implementing mentioned strategies would contribute to a resilient information ecosystem that upholds the values of freedom of expression while actively combating fake news, misinformation, and disinformation, which is needed even more these days when deepening polarization at global and national level provides ample ground for fake news that spread hate and anxiety,» Antje Grawe stressed.