Against the ‘fake news’ epidemic

The president of the Union of Open Commercial Televisions (UTECA), Eduardo Olano, has denounced “the indifference and apathy of the companies that own social networks and video sharing platforms”, in the face of the expansion of fake news ” to levels never seen before. This was stated this Wednesday at the opening of the Conference on ‘Journalism, Technology and Business, a necessary alliance in the face of the global impact of fake news’, organized by the entity that he presides.

«Indeed, hoaxes were not born with social networks, but thanks to their permissiveness they live their particular golden age. Just as the media are responsible for the content we disseminate, so must these new channels,” Olano claimed.

In the opinion of the president of UTECA, “it is essential that these networks, platforms and private messaging companies assume their responsibility, while governments and other international institutions demand responsibilities from them.” Likewise, he recalled the European Union Guidelines to Strengthen the Code of Good Practices, which call for “greater control of the location of advertising spaces as one more way to put an end to the lucrative business of disinformation.”

In this sense, he stressed that “journalism and the media are a key sector to help mitigate the spread and impact of fake news, also collaborating in dismantling the business of disinformation.” And, given that “there is no single vaccine to end the current epidemic of hoaxes, fake news and misinformation”, he has highlighted that the alliance of Journalism, Technology and Business “is more necessary than ever.”

In his speech during the opening of the Conference, the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, Roberto Sánchez, in reference to online platforms, has advocated “deepening the codes of good practices, closely monitoring the behavior of these platforms, that progress can be made in the transparency of public or political advertising, fake accounts, identification of bots,…».

Likewise, he has pointed out that “some of this content is released to the networks without any editorial control”, unlike traditional media: “We are used to information reaching you through media that exercise editorial control that guarantees the veracity of the information.

Along these lines, Sánchez has highlighted that there is a difference “between the media that have editorial control” and “those media that do not have editorial control or are established in other countries, such as large platforms, to which it is much more difficult for them to be controlled.

“The fight against disinformation needs coordination at all levels, of course between the countries of the European Union because it exceeds the territory of one country.” Furthermore, “here the traditional media have a fundamental job to do in the field of education, in valuing that editorial control, that guarantee, that security that they have the channels so that information reaches citizens truthful manner.”

The UTECA Conference brings together thirty speakers from the main Spanish media, executives from large companies in the country and experts in cybersecurity and verification.

The first round table of the Conference, which focused on ‘Economy, Reputation and Fake News’ and was moderated by the director of Antena 3 Noticias 2, Vicente Vallés, featured Juan Llobell, director of Communication and Institutional Relations at Cepsa ; Ignacio Jiménez Soler, general director of Communication at Endesa; Roberto Casado, Expansión Economic Correspondent; Joaquín Gómez, deputy director of El Economista; and Juan María Hernández Puértolas, Director of Communication of the la Caixa Foundation Group.

‘Journalism, a retaining wall against fake news’ was the second round table, whose first part of the debate -The press: Veracity, Authority and Context- was also moderated by Vicente Vallés and had Julián Quirós, director from ABC; Francisco Rosell, director of El Mundo»; Ignacio Cardero, director of El Confidencial; Ignacio Escolar, director of; Encarna Samitier, director of 20 Minutes; Ana Isabel Pereda, Director of Expansion; and Albert Sáez, director of El Periódico de Cataluña in its roster of speakers.

Next, ‘The role of news fact-checkers, hunters of fake news’ was addressed, in a panel moderated by journalist José Luis Pérez, from TRECE Noticias, and in which Ana Pastor, director of Newtral, participated; Mónica Prado, editor-in-chief of the digital area of ​​Antena 3 Noticias; Desireé García Pruñonosa, head of Efe Verifica; and Cristina Tardaguila, senior program director at the International Center for Journalism.

The session will continue this afternoon with the debate on ‘Journalism, a retaining wall against fake news’, in its second part: ‘TV and Radio News: Influence, Reach and Credibility’. Also moderated by José Luis Pérez, it will feature César González Antón, director of laSexta Noticias; Ainara Guezuraga, head of National Antena 3 Noticias; Montserrat Lluis, general director TRECE; Esteve Crespo, director of RTVE Informative content; Julián Cabrera, director of Onda Cero news; and Montserrat Domínguez, content director of Cadena Ser.

‘Creation, detection and deactivation of fake news. Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and other weapons to fight disinformation’ will be the last round table of the day in which David Merchán Millán will participate; lieutenant colonel of the Civil Guard, expert in Cybersecurity; Carlos Gajero Grande, expert commissioner in cybersecurity of the General Information Commissariat of the National Police; Ramón Salaverría, professor at the University of Navarra and coordinator of IBERIFIER; Jesús Miguel Flores, professor of Journalism and New Media at the Complutense University; Félix Barrio, deputy director of Cybersecurity for Society, INCIBE; Jorge Oteo, CTO of Ibermática; and Marc Martínez, partner responsible for Cybersecurity at KPMG in Spain. The Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, closes the day.

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