DigEnlight2019 (I). Anna Asimakopoulou: Democracy and Media in the Digital Era

Notes from the conference Democracy and Media in the Digital Era, organized by the Digital Enlightenment Forum and the Delegation to the European Union of the Government of Catalonia, and held in Brussels, Belgium, on 14 November 2019. More notes on this event: digenlight2019

Anna Asimakopoulou, Member EU Parliament.
Democracy and Media in the Digital Era

Disinformation has become a global-highly visible phenomenon in the digital age.

There is a need to improve detection, collaborate to eradicate it, work with the industry and raise awareness about the issue.

The European Union is putting ahead some “defensive” strategies to protect institutions and citizens from disinformation and manipulation.

But something else should be done to improve democracy in its very essence, before the damage is done or is attempted.

Awareness raising campaigns about the importance to vote in the European Parliament elections.

Online platforms should be something more than just a place where to get information. They should be agoras for debate, for deliberation.

There is an increasing number of interesting initiatives about e-democracy and online deliberation.


Q: what is the role of digital literacy? Are citizens trained or capable enough to maintain high-level discussions about politics or policies?

Q: what happens when online discussions go wrong and boost populism?

Q: is ‘collective intelligence’ something really useful? Can it be nurtured? Can it interact from the bottom with “upper” institutions?

Anna Asimakopoulou: digital literacy is most probably a highest priority no only for online democracy, but in all areas. There is a fine line between humour and libel, but we sure can agree on what populism is and how to fight it —or, most especially, how not to legitimise it.

When people get involved, when they have the opportunity to engage, then there is a reconciliation between citizens and political institutions.


Democracy and Media in the Digital Era (2019)