- November 17, 2023
- November 17, 2023
On November 17, the Aspen Institute Germany and Telefónica Germany are hosting the next Digital Dish event titled “Elections in Times of Disinformation – How do we Protect our Democracies in the Digital Space?” We are happy to welcome Christiane Hoffmann, First Deputy Spokesperson of the Federal Government, and Hanna Müller, Head of Division “Political Systems, Disinformation, Hybrid Threats” at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, alongside a member of the German Bundestag and a representative of a social media platform.
Next year, the U.S. presidential election and the European elections on both sides of the Atlantic will be important decisions that will determine the future of both continents. The credibility and verifiable truthfulness of election results are the foundation of a democracy, which is why politicians and officials pay particular attention to the security and accuracy of these ballots. In the digital age, however, this is becoming increasingly difficult. Social media and other online platforms facilitate the rapid and widespread spread of misinformation that shakes trust in governments, academia, and the democratic system. Artificial intelligence enables the creation of deep fakes, which are increasingly gaining in quality and will soon be difficult to distinguish from reality. All these dangers call for concrete solutions to ensure the stability of our democracies in the long term.
The urgency of this challenge is demonstrated by legislative initiatives in the EU, Germany, and the United States, for example. At the European level, for example, the Commission produced a code of conduct with concrete recommendations for the member states. This contains proposals such as reducing financial incentives for providers of disinformation and strengthening the fact-checking community. The German government has also committed itself to the fight against disinformation and, for example, supports specific projects to identify deepfakes. However, many experts expect the private sector to deal with disinformation and deepfakes more consistently.
The panel will discuss these problems as well as various approaches to solving them and give us an outlook on the challenges in the upcoming super election year.