The Government has established a working group to coordinate efforts to combat the spread of disinformation on the internet.
The multi-stakeholder group will be tasked with providing a joined-up approach to reduce the creation and spread of false and harmful material.
Members will aim to complete a National Counter Disinformation Strategy by the end of the year in a process that will also involve a public consultation.
The establishment of the working group fulfils a recommendation in The Future of Media Commission report, which called for a more coordinated and strategic approach to combat the damaging impact of disinformation on Irish society and democracy.
The working group is being coordinated by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media and includes representatives from industry, academia, civil society and Government departments.
Martina Chapman, National Coordinator of Media Literacy Ireland and an independent media literacy consultant, has been nominated to independently chair the Group.
‘Complex and damaging’
Welcoming the establishment of the working group, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin described disinformation as complex and damaging, adding that no one approach can solve it.
“That’s why this working group has been established, to bring together key stakeholders across Government, industry, academia and civil society to develop an overarching strategy to promote a joined-up approach that aims to reduce the creation and spread of false and harmful material,” Ms Martin said.
“Amongst other things, the working group will look to review existing media literacy initiatives, identify tools and mechanisms to address disinformation and identify ways to better coordinate national efforts to counter organised campaigns of manipulation of internet users in Ireland,” she added.
The new working group will meet for the first time on 24 February.