A public consultation will be held as part of the process of forming the national anti-disinformation strategy.
The Government is setting a new, multi-stakeholder working group the task of compiling a national strategy approach for dealing with online disinformation.
The group’s membership includes government departments, the Press Ombudsman, National Youth Council of Ireland, Media Literacy Ireland, Technology Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the Libraries Association of Ireland.
Its chair is the national co-ordinator of Media Literacy Ireland, Martina Chapman. She is an independent media literacy consultant.
She will lead the rest of the group’s members as they work on completing a national anti-disinformation plan by the end of 2023.
The group was established on the foot of a recommendation by the Future of Media Commission’s report. The report flagged disinformation as a threat to society and recommended a coherent strategy to counteract it.
The group’s strategy will reflect some of the aims already outlined by the Future of Media Commission’s report, including the development of long-term monitoring of the application of the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation.
A public consultation will be held as part of the process of forming the national anti-disinformation strategy. The group meets for the first time on 24 February.
The Future of Media Commission recommended that Irish citizens be involved where possible in the formation of such a strategy.
The strategy will aim to highlight the role that independent journalism plays in providing factual information in the public interest.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, welcomed the establishment of the national working group.
“We know that disinformation is complex and damaging. This means that no one approach can solve it. That’s why this working group has been established – to bring together key stakeholders across Government, industry, academia and civil society to develop an overarching strategy to promote a joined-up approach that aims to reduce the creation and spread of false and harmful material.”
She said that the group will look to review existing media literacy initiatives, identify tools and mechanisms to address disinformation and identify ways to co-ordinate national efforts to counter “organised campaigns of manipulation of internet users in Ireland”.
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