Online fake news and local democracy: The final international event of the DIGITAL project

Déc 21, 2021

Digital & innovation

From 17 to 19 November 2021, the 5th and final event of the DIGITAL project– Supporting Democratic Union and Active Citizenship in Digital Era  – took place in Madrid, Spain. The event entitled “Fake news: How to counter the fake news and disinformation that spread online?” was held both online and offline and offered the possibility to debate and share opinions on topics such as the impact of digitalization, the future of the European Union, and the place of citizens in this digital transformation. For ALDA it was attended by Elisabetta Uroni, Head of the Communication Department.

The DIGITAL project is led by the Federation of Municipalities of Madrid (FMM) and financed by the Europe for Citizens Programme. Its aim was to assemble policymakers and citizens from 15 European countries to enhance democratic and civic participation across Europe.

The first day of the event focused on the proliferation of fake news in the digital age and included interventions by José Antonio Sánchez Serrano, the Deputy Minister of Local Administration and Digitization of the Community of Madrid, and Cristina Moreno Moreno, the General Manager of FMM. In addition, conclusions were drawn from the previous international events, including through interactive sessions.

The event focused on the proliferation of fake news in the digital age; the effects on on local democracy  and on digital transition

The second day focused on issues such as the effects of fake news on local democracy with speakers José Manuel Hoyo, the Mayor of Brunete and Vice President of the Information Society Commission, Alfredo García-Plata, the Mayor of Torrelodones and Member of the Information Society Commission, Jorge Alberto Campos, the Mayor of Paracuellos del Jarama and Member of the Governing Board FMM, and Asensio Martínez Agraz, the Mayor of Sevilla la Nueva and Member of the Governing Board of the FMM. Furthermore, strategies, methods, and techniques in the fight against fake news were discussed together with Francisco Serrato from The Objective, Vincenzo Tiani, Advisory expert in Digital Policies and professor at the IULM University (Milan), Andrés Jiménez, the MALDITO BULO Coordinator, and an expert from NEWTRAL. The day closed with an interactive session on good local practices with regard to fake news.

The third day started with a round table discussion on best practices that make a significant contribution to the “digital transition” at EU level, presented by Cristina Moreno Moreno and featuring Myrian Redondo from VerificaRTVE. This was followed by a presentation of the conclusions of the teamwork of day 2 and the closing session.

The event provided an important forum for analyzing and discussing the issue of fake news and its impact on local democracy from a variety of perspectives. It brought together a number of experts and stakeholders but also allowed citizens to actively participate.