Workshop: Fighting fake news. Ways to enhance accountability, reliability and accuracy of Social Media information
Call for Papers
During the last decade, there has been a revolution in how people interconnect and socialize. From the early days of Facebook to today’s proliferation of Social Media of all types, people have been embracing this new form of socialization. Social networks, media and platforms are becoming the primary way in how our societies operate for the purposes of communication, information exchange, conducting business, co-creation, and learning. However, their extreme growth in combination with the lack of control over the digital content being published and shared, has led to their information veracity being heavily disputed.
As blatant fake news cases are becoming countless, motives for their spreading are often financial or political. In a recent letter, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, specifically points out the alarming situation where most people today find news and information on the web through just a handful of social media sites and search engines. These sites use fake news as a tool to artificially grow their traffic, in order to take advantage of increased advertising revenues. They choose what to show based on algorithms that learn from our personal data, which they are constantly harvesting. The net result is that these sites show content they think we will click on –meaning that misinformation or fake news which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases, spread quickly. In the Freedom of the Net 2017 report, Freedom House is led to the same conclusion. The report studied 65 countries worldwide between June 2016 and May 2017 and found out that online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 out of 65 countries during this period, including the United States.
Establishing synergies with innovative information and communication technologies (such as semantic analysis tools, blockchains, emotional descriptors, machine learning) can enhance the accountability, reliability and accuracy of the information being shared in Social Media, leading to a more veritable sociality. Key to this situation is to safeguard the distributed and open nature of Social Media, strengthening pluralism and participation, and mitigating censorship. At the same time, what is and what is not fake news is rarely straightforward. Users cannot leave such decisions to third parties like fact checkers or computer algorithms. A more mature approach to evaluating themselves and sharing information they read online can dramatically halt the main advantage of fake news, which is their speed of spreading.
In the context of the above, this workshop invites papers in the areas of:
- innovative ICT technologies to fight against spreading of fake news
- digital content verification
- distributed trust and reputation establishment in decentralized environments
- the role of machine learning both in causing and in tackling disinformation online
- blockchain technologies to support accountability and transparency
- human factors in social media disinformation
- involvement of media specialists and user communities in the content verification process
- ethics in social media disinformation
- information veracity in the web and social media ecosystems
Dr. Konstantinos Demestichas, ICCS/NTUA, Athens, Greece, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. George Loukas, University of Greenwich, UK, email: email@example.com
Prof. Charalampos Z. Patrikakis, University of West Attica, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Evgenia Adamopoulou, Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece, email: email@example.com
Full paper submission deadline: 18 August 2019
Notification of decision: 14 September 2019
Camera-ready deadline: 22 September 2019
Instructions for Authors
Submitted papers must not substantially overlap with papers that have been published or that have been submitted to a journal or a conference with proceedings. Papers should be at most 15 pages long, including the bibliography and well-marked appendices, and should follow the LNCS style (https://www.springer.com/gp/computer-science/lncs/conference-proceedings-guidelines). Submissions are to be made to the submission web site at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=edemocracy2019. Only pdf files will be accepted. Submissions not meeting these guidelines risk to be rejected without consideration of their merits. The deadline for submitting papers is 18 August 2019 (11:59 p.m. American Samoa time).
The authors of accepted papers must guarantee that their papers will be presented at the conference.