A public consultation on the development of a National Counter Disinformation Strategy was launched on September 25.
As part of their report, the Future of Media Commission recognised the need for more coordinated and strategic action to combat the damaging impact of disinformation on Irish society and democracy and recommended the development of a National Counter Disinformation Strategy.
In February 2023, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arta, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media established a multi-stakeholder working group, independantly chaired by MLI member Martina Chapman. The Working Group aims to coordinate sectoral efforts to combat disinformation and provide a joined-up approach to reduce the creation and spread of false and harmful material. MLI is represented by Dr. Eileen Culloty, with MLI Steering Group co-Chair Stephanie Comey representing Coimisiún na Meán, and MLI Steering Group member Susan Daly representing the Press Council.
The Working Group has produced a Scoping Paper which sets out a summary of a range of issues that are relevant to disinformation. It also sets out five draft principles around which a strategy could be developed. The public consultation asks people for their views on those principles and for their ideas for actions that would help make them a reality.
“Disinformation is a complex issue. That is why we established this multi-stakeholder, independently chaired, working group to bring representatives from industry, academia, civil society and Government Departments together to develop a Strategy which would help coordinate all the efforts being made to counter disinformation.
An important part of the work is to seek the views of the public, and that is the aim of this public consultation. I would encourage people to review the Scoping Paper, which seeks to set out a summary of the main issues and the five draft principles, and submit their views“.The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD
Once the consultation process has concluded, the Working Group will review the outputs and continue its work on developing the Strategy. The next stage of the consultation will then be a consultative forum for key stakeholders to discuss the outputs from the consultation. It is hoped to finalise a strategy as soon as possible thereafter.
Full details and the consultation questionnaire are available here and the consultation remains open for submissions until 5pm on Friday October 20.