‘Fake news’ and disinformation spread quickly in the digital age.
By the time they can be exposed and skewed narratives corrected, our democratic fabric is already damaged. Trust in the very concepts of truth, fact and reality is undermined. Even worse, elections might be manipulated or swung. What are the steps that should be taken to contain the threat of disinformation? What is the role of public authorities, media outlets and social media companies? What is the ultimate goal of disinformation and how does it aide illiberal regimes and actors? And how can the emerging ‘attention economy’ be made compatible with quality media and well-informed citizens? On 22 February 2018, the European Political Strategy Centre hosted five leading international experts for a High Level Hearing on ‘Preserving Democracy in the Digital Age’ to intellectually accompany the European Commission’s ongoing public consultation on ‘fake news’ and online disinformation. During the Hearing, the experts were asked to address a set of predetermined questions with the knowledge that a full transcript of the Hearing would be submitted as a public contribution to the consultation.