COMPACT – Brussels Symposium Disinformation in the European Elections 2019: The role of social media & technology trends

COMPACT – Brussels Symposium Disinformation in the European Elections 2019: The role of social media & technology trends

Date: 21 October 2019
Venue: Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU, Brussels (Avenue de Cortenbergh 79, 1000 Brussels)



Background: Social media have radically changed our ways of interacting and communicating. Companies such as Twitter or Facebook were founded already more than ten years ago. However, even today, we are still struggling to define their impact on public discourse, the media landscape and our democracies. Phenomena such as fake news, hate speech and disinformation have changed the way people interact online and influence the political discourse. The European Elections in May 2019 have been viewed as a potential target of foreign influence, but also susceptible to the spread of false information and misleading political advertisement from actors within the EU. While traditional national electoral legislations formulate rules about political advertisement, these rules were developed in a traditional media environment and may not be fit for a changing social media landscape. Therefore, this conference would like to debate whether the set of measures proposed by the European Commission in advance of the elections has been successful. Further, it will be discussed what else could be done to make sure our electoral system, social media legislation and online political advertisement are fit for the digital century. Lastly, we will present preliminary findings from the COMPACT project, which is mapping technological, regulatory and policy developments in social media and convergence.

Purpose of the event & project: The symposium aims to bring together policymakers, academics, NGOs and other stakeholders to discuss how to make social media and our democratic discourses more resilient to extremism and disinformation, especially in light of elections. The aim of the COMPACT project is to raise awareness about emerging legal, policy and technological developments and increase the understanding of how the convergence of those trends influences media and society.

About COMPACT: COMPACT aims to increase awareness of the latest technological discoveries in the context of social media and content convergence as well as to provide research on and experience-exchange of policy and regulation strategies in order to stimulate a debate on the desirable future policies and frameworks. It is a Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action (CSA) under grant number 762128. This symposium is organised by the European DIGITAL SME Alliance as the local partner with support from COMPACT project partners, and kindly hosted by the Slovak Permanent Representation to the European Union.


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