Tartu, 20 May 2022

Third Eastern partnership e-governance conference – Disinformation in the digital age. Effects on democracy, state and society

A participant representing EaP CSF Jasur Mammadov took part in third Eastern Partnership e-governance conference ‘Disinformation in the digital age. Effects on democracy, state’ and society that happened on 20 May in Tartu, Estonia.

Information manipulation has become a global phenomenon and even more so in war situations, serving as a prominent instrument in the strategic foreign policy toolkit of many governments around the world. Foreign influence operations are by no means a new phenomenon. However, the global retreat of democracy, decline of political parties, the presence of financial scandals and recent technological developments have made it easier for authoritarian countries to quickly and maliciously interfere with democratic institutions and processes.

The conference participants spoke about the problems that arise in the age of digitalisation and information. The problem is that the level of disinformation, misinformation and manipulation is alarming. Experts believe that the information disseminated in the digital age is not as reliable as before, because disinformation and misinformation are widespread. The events in Ukraine and the daily disinformation and misinformation circle around it are noteworthy, and the participants believe that European organisations, institutions and states should coordinate their activities in the fight against disinformation and misinformation.

During the conference it was noted that there is that a number of states, governments or government-affiliated political forces, that use the popularity of Internet resources and mass media for their needs by also trying to control it.  This has led for instance to attacks on journalists and activists.