Information Integrity: Fighting fake content in debate at G20
The concept brings notions of precision, reliability and security in the fight against false, malicious and prejudiced information. The topic is one of the priority agendas of the Digital Economy Working Group, which is part of the G20 Sherpa Track
The concept of information integrity refers to the accuracy, consistency and reliability of information. It is under attack from disinformation, false information and hate speech, which circulate mainly through digital channels. According to the United Nations, there are 2 billion people in the world using the internet. According to a study conducted in 142 countries, 58.5% of regular internet and social media users around the world are concerned about encountering disinformation online.
Disinformation is described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as false or misleading content that can cause specific harm, regardless of motivations, awareness or behavior. State and non-state actors use denialist narratives to persuade citizens to take incorrect positions. According to the United Nations, disinformation has an impact on all of the SDGs as well as fundamental issues such as vaccination, democracy, and global warming.
The topic will be debated during the G20, as one of the priority agendas of the Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG). Established in 2021, the WG seeks to guide public policies on how to harness the potential of economies through the digital transformation process as an instrument for improving public participation and fostering socio-economic development in an inclusive manner.
Countries are becoming increasingly committed to information integrity. The UN recently published a report on the concept, calling on states to create regulatory responses to protect information integrity and combat disinformation. Digital platforms are also urged to contribute to this effort.
Recently, the Global Declaration on Online Information Integrity was signed, a text that defends principles for combating disinformation and promoting information integrity. There are also other international initiatives, such as the Forum for Information and Democracy and the UN Secretary-General's "Code of Conduct for Information Integrity on Digital Platforms", based on a proposal by Canada and the Netherlands, which has also been signed by Belgium, Brasil, Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Switzerland.
The Code of Conduct for Information Integrity on Digital Platforms aims to provide a global response to information threats. A position founded on human rights, including the freedoms of expression and opinion, as well as access to information. The Code's goal is to assist governments, digital platforms, and other groups in their efforts to make the digital space more inclusive and safer for all.
Brasil signs partnerships and agreements
The federal government has defended proposals - both in international forums and in discussions in Congress (PL 2630/2020) - around transparency in advertising and algorithms, the defense of human rights on digital platforms and the importance of Media Education, for example.
The Brazilian government and Germany signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Information Integrity and Combating Disinformation in December. The text was formalized by Minister Paulo Pimenta of the Presidency of the Republic's Secretariat for Social Communication (Secom/PR) and State Secretary Steffen Hebestreit, the German government's spokesperson.
The declaration provides for cooperation actions in the areas of promoting information integrity, combating disinformation and defending democratic institutions, as well as regulating digital services and media education.
In October, Secom/PR, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ABC/MRE) signed the International Technical Cooperation Project "Promoting access to information, the exercise of rights, the fight against disinformation and the defense of democracy".