Jourová praises Slovak initiative fighting disinformation

Slovakia has a vibrant civil society where several social initiatives prove effective against various threats of information security. [EPA-EFE/KENZO TRIBOUILLARD]

“It is of utmost importance to know how member states act when they fight disinformation,” the Europen Commission’s vice-president for values and transparency, Vera Jourova, told the Slovak Network of Experts against Hybrid Attacks, known as SOPHIA – a recently established initiative, aiming to connect active institutions and organisations in the fight against disinformation.

Slovakia has a vibrant civil society where several social initiatives prove effective against various threats of information security. However “even after years of their existence and measurable impact, they remain unnoticed when it comes to systematic support and financial aid,” explained activist and cognitive security expert Tomáš Kriššák, a member of SOPHIA.

Jourová described the disinformation scene as a story of heroes, victims and villains, in which the heroes are represented by “us”, the EU; while victims are European citizens and villains are all those “who do not mean well to Europe“.

“I am often thinking about where platforms stand within this triangle. Nevertheless, our ambition is to get them onto our side,” said the Commission VP, saying that after meeting most big tech representatives, platforms genuinely do not want to be “an instrument of evil“.

Jourová also spoke about the EU’s recently launched Rapid Alert System against disinformation, which she prompted.

“We have a lot of analyses, but lack action. Therefore we ought to mobilise all partners,” she said. “I do not like the fact that we keep polishing our weapons in the EU, forgetting to use them,” said the Commission VP.

Tomáš Kriššák added: “If Europe wants to win the information war, it needs to focus on boosting the ranks of its allies among active digital citizens and hear their calls for improvement and support of their personal capacities to be the pillar of support and hope for our modern democracies”. (Lucia Yar | EURACTIV.sk)

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