Riga Symposium

On behalf of the organizing team it is our great pleasure to invite you to participate in the upcoming Regional symposium  titled:

“Disinformation, Media Literacy and Social Media Regulation”


The regional COMPACT symposium is taking place at the University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Sciences, Isaiah Berlin auditorium (Lauvas street 4, Riga, Latvia), on 10 December 2019.


Latvia, along with the other Baltic states, can be regarded as a success story in the transition to a liberal democracy in the 90’s after the collapse of the Soviet Unions, yet after all these years Baltic countries still experience a tense relationship with Russia. Baltic states are on the EU border and have a strong Russian media presence that often reports on local and global issues in a way that is aligned with Russian states geopolitical interests. Often these stories can be classified as disinformation. With the development of technology, social media has become one of the channels that is actively used to disseminate false messages that further or mirror the interests of Russian Federation. One of the focal points for literacy and disinformation issues is social media and the users who consume and contribute to it daily. But as the digital space is a relatively new concept, there are still a lot of policy improvements to be made to regulate and combat the spread of disinformation online.

The aim of the event is to present new findings about digital space, social media, user literacy and ways the disinformation is spread as well as hold discussion between stakeholders and researchers to find better solutions to the serious issues the future holds. Disinformation, Media Literacy and Social Media Regulation is a part of COMPACT events. 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.


12.30 Opening remarks

Prof. Jānis Ikstens, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Latvia

Prof. Vita Zelče, Department of Communication Studies, Coordinator of COMPACT Latvian Team, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Latvia

Moderator: Raivis Vilūns, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Latvia

Keynote speaker:

Sebastian Bay is a Senior Expert at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga, Latvia.

The Malicious Use of Social Media: Since its foundation, the NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence in Riga has studied social media manipulation as an important and integral part of the influence campaigns malicious state and non-state actors direct against the Alliance and its partners From the 2014 invasion of Ukraine to more recent attempts to interfere in democratic elections, antagonists seeking to influence their adversaries have turned to social media manipulation. The presentation will detail trends and developments in social media manipulation by highlighting case-studies and research conducted by NATO StratCom CoE. From the black market of social media manipulation, to working arrangements in Fake News Factories in the Philippines, to a resent in-house experiment testing the ability of social media companies to commercial manipulation.

Oles Kulchytskyy, Agency of European Innovations, Ukraine

Overview of COMPACT project findings and Ukraine as an example of disinformation Overview of COMPACT project results on regulatory initiatives and suggestions in Europe and beyond in the area of Information disorder and social harms. Additionally, the Ukrainian case of disinformation will be presented.


14.00 Coffee break


Moderator: Raivis Vilūns, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Latvia

Dr. Andrej Skolkay, School of Communication and Media, Slovakia.

Global Discourse on Social Media Regulation: A global overview of political, academic and journalistic suggestions about possible ways to regulate social media platforms.

Dr. Klinta Ločmele, University of Latvia

Media Literacy in Latvia 2019 and Tasks for the Future: In Latvia, media literacy has been in the spotlight since 2015. The first comprehensive survey on the media literacy of the inhabitants of Latvia (2017) showed that only 40% of respondents are confident in their ability to recognize reliable information from manipulative. Presentation covers the current media literacy issues and outlines particularly important future challenges in Latvia.

Velta Skolmeistare, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Latvia

Habits of Using Social Media, Internet News Portals and Digital Services in Latvia: Presentation will give insight into statistics about the current role of social media and internet news portals in acquiring the newest information, the degree of trust the society has in them and which of digital services are commonly used in Latvia.

15.40 Coffee break

16.00 Discussions 

Disinformation Online: How Vulnerable We Actually Are?

Moderator: Mārtiņš Hiršs, Research Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Security Research


Sebastian Bay, is a Senior Expert at the Technical and Scientific Development Branch of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga.

Filips Lastovskis is a Board Member of Latvian Journalist Association and Journalist of news portal Delfi.lv

Viktors Makarovs, Special Envoy on Information Security Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs


16.45 Coffee break


Can Media Literacy Save Us from Disinformation?

Moderator: Dr. Klinta Ločmele, Media Literacy Researcher


Marta Cerava, Chief Content Editor for Public Broadcasting Media Website LSM.LV

Iveta Locāne, Senior consultant on website and social networking for Ministry of Education and Science

Beāte Lielmane, Communication and Information Program Director for UNESCO


Riga symposium will be live streamed here: Link



The information is prepared by the team of the COMPACT project.

COMPACT is a Coordination and Support Action funded European Commission under framework Horizon 2020.

The objective of the COMPACT project is to increase awareness (including scientific, political, cultural, legal, economic and technical areas) of the latest technological discoveries among key stakeholders in the context of social media and convergence. The project will offer analyses and road maps of related initiatives. In addition, extensive research on policies and regulatory frameworks in media and content will be developed.

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