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Democracy Under Scrutiny: Insights from the EU Media Literacy Expert Group Meeting in Brussels

r Nucci from TITAN standing in front of a big screen showing his presentatoionM

On the 26th of February at the Radisson Blu hotel in Brussels, a gathering of minds converged for the latest EU Media Literacy Expert Group meeting. This assembly served as a platform for industry leaders, journalists, fact checkers, policymakers, and innovators to dissect the complexities of media literacy and confront the challenges posed by misinformation, particularly in the context of the forthcoming EU elections.

The afternoon session featured a panel discussion including TITAN, a pan-European research and innovation initiative dedicated to combating online disinformation. Francesco Saverio Nucci, representing TITAN, elucidated the pivotal role of the TITAN chatbot in fostering critical thinking. Nucci emphasised the synergy between Large Language Modelling (LLM) and Socratic thinking, underscoring how this amalgamation empowers individuals to instigate discussions and arrive at informed conclusions about content authenticity. The chatbot helps them spot disinformation signals so they can make their own decisions about the veracity of an article.

Nucci TITAN Media Literacy presentation 2024
Download PPTX • 11.60MB

The discourse expanded as representatives from prominent platforms like TikTok and Meta shared their insights and initiatives. Lynn Sutton from TikTok shed light on the platform's concerted efforts to safeguard the integrity of elections. She revealed plans for the imminent launch of an election center tailored for the EU elections, providing localised information across all 27 member states.

Lara Levet, representing Meta, echoed the significance of adapting language to effectively engage with users. Meta's commitment to transparency was evident as Levet mentioned the labelling of AI-generated content, a response to requests from content creators for greater clarity and accountability.

The discussion took a deeper dive into the real-world impact of disinformation, with Katerina Klingova, a leader from GlobSec, sharing harrowing accounts from Slovakia. Katerina underscored the imperative of not only targeting youth engagement but also addressing the digital literacy needs of older demographics who may be less familiar with social media platforms. Highlighting findings from GlobSec's research, Katerina stressed the need for accurate metrics to assess the true reach of social media platforms.

Throughout the day, TITAN played an active role in showcasing its solution, conducting demos during breaks and lunch. Participants had the opportunity to engage firsthand with the platform, gaining insights into its functionality and efficacy in combatting misinformation.

As the meeting drew to a close, it became evident that addressing the multifaceted challenges of media literacy and disinformation demands a comprehensive, collaborative approach. The call for a "whole of society" endeavour resonated strongly, emphasising the collective responsibility to rebuild interpersonal and institutional trust over the long term.

In essence, the EU Media Literacy Expert Group meeting served as a crucible of ideas and strategies, illuminating pathways toward a more resilient and informed society in the face of evolving media landscapes. With continued collaboration and innovation, the fight against disinformation stands poised to make significant strides, safeguarding the integrity of democratic processes and empowering individuals to navigate the digital realm with discernment and confidence.


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