RIYADH: The global multilateral Digital Cooperation Organization has issued a white paper highlighting misinformation and disinformation on the internet and social networks and the ways to combat it in the digital economy.
The paper, “From social media to truth: Countering misinformation for a thriving digital economy,” highlights misinformation and its impact on the digital economy, in addition to a comprehensive analysis of and proposals to enhance the spread of verifiable information.
It also sheds light on the role of social media networks in spreading misinformation, and the challenges faced by society, including decision-makers, managers of social media platforms, media professionals, and others, in combating it.
“Our latest whitepaper offers comprehensive analysis and practical solutions to tackling this critical issue,” said the DCO in a statement.
Founded in November 2020, the DCO enables digital prosperity by accelerating the inclusive growth of the digital economy.
The spread of false information on social media platforms represents a major challenge that can lead to a loss of trust in them and hinder the adoption of digital technologies.
The white paper discusses the impact of misinformation on young people. In order to address it, awareness and education must be enhanced with research, verification, and distinction skills between reliable and unreliable sources, it says.
It also discusses digital tools for verifying information, their limitations, and the possibility of participating in designing modern digital tools for verifying information and facts to address this challenge.
Muhammad Khurram Khan, professor of cybersecurity at King Saud University, Riyadh, who did policy work for the G20 presidency on the topic in 2021, told Arab News: “As social media and digital connectivity facilitate the rapid dissemination of information, identifying authentic content from misleading or false information has become increasingly difficult. The challenge of countering misinformation or deepfake in the modern digital landscape has become a complex and multifaceted endeavor.
“Across a wide range of sectors, misinformation contributes to the pervasiveness of public opinion and impacts decision-making processes. A significant challenge presented by fake news, misinformation, and disinformation across various online platforms requires comprehensive strategies to combat its spread,” he said.
“To eradicate misinformation, there is a need for sharing and checking standards to be adopted by social media platforms,” he added.
Furthermore, Khan says, media literacy is imperative to curb the influence of fake news, and governments, platforms, civil society and the general public should work together to ensure that information sharing is truthful and accurate in order to combat misinformation.
The DCO brings together the ministries of communications and IT of 15 member nations — Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Rwanda, and Saudi Arabia — and focuses on empowering young people and entrepreneurs, benefiting from the accelerating power of the digital economy, and keeping pace with innovation to drive economic growth and increase social prosperity.