Summary of Training III: Human Rights Online

Training III: Human Rights Online took place on January 23, 2020. Working group #1 was responsible for preparing a presentation on the topic. The case studies presented by the working group focused on misinformation and disinformation and human rights online.

The first case study revolved around the Hong Kong protest. The case study pointed at how misinformation has led to numerous issues with fake news and a decline in the trust of police. Another problem discussed in this case study would be how disinformation has been used to appeal to the public’s emotions in order to gain their approval and trust.

The second case study concentrated on another country with similar concerns regarding fake news and disinformation, Russia. In the case study, a report about how 8000 refugees entered Russia from Ukraine in one day was carefully examined. This report was a good example of fake news due to the fact that the refugees shown in the photographs of the report were not even from Ukraine but were from Kosovo and unrelated to the report. 

After the presenters of working group #1, Han and Pavel finished discussing the case studies, the guest speakers – Jean Queralt (Founder and Manager of IO Foundation) and Waqas Hassan (President of the Internet Society Pakistan Islamabad Chapter) gave their remarks on the topic as well as their insights on the case studies.

Next on the agenda was the breakout session wherein the participants were split up into two groups, both having one guest speaker each to share their experiences and opinions connected to the policy questions made by the working group. Waqas discussed how one of the main issues with how the government is handling problems on the internet is that it is typically slow and using more traditional methods that are not too popular with this generation. 

Not only were the problems of various countries discussed by the groups but also the possible solutions. Awareness was one of the solutions that were brought up in the presentation and further examined in the breakout session. Jean gave his experience raising awareness as a solution to some of the many issues with human rights online. He made an emphasis on the importance of having experts on policies. There was a lot to be said about the involvement of the government and whether or not they were violating human rights. The session ended with the topic of human rights online being brought into the light and into the minds of many. 

About the writer
Pythea Cabagnot (NetMission Ambassador 2019/20, The Philippines)
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with Specialization in Artificial Intelligence, Southville International School and Colleges