Tackling Fake News: Alternatives To Central Government Control

Part 1 - Lead Organizer


Contact Person

Kar Jin Ong

Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate)

Centre for Independent Journalism


Digital Rights Officer



Economy of Residence


Primary Stakeholder Group

Civil Society


Part 2 - Session Proposal

Your proposal is for

Main Conference (Day 1-3)

Session Title

Tackling Fake News: Alternatives To Central Government Control



Session Format

Fireside Chat

Where do you plan to organize your session?

Virtual / online

Specific Issues for Discussion

The rise of disinformation, misinformation, and the cybertroll industry has plagued the news ecosystem and created an infodemic. Many governments have turned to enacting far-reaching laws that justify widespread surveillance and broad-based powers of prosecution in the name of combating fake news. This session brings together activists and media practitioners to share experiences and reflections on three issues: 1. How these laws have contributed to a draconian media environment and been used to repress freedom of expression 2. The limited effectiveness of centralised approaches to suppressing/ combating fake news 3. Alternatives to centralised heavyhanded government approaches such as community based organising or media responses

Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF

We believe that the session comes at a time when there is huge alarm over disinformation and its polarising impact on democracies/ polities across the globe, deeply eroding trust. The pandemic has come with an accompanying infodemic. With it, has come justifications for the tightening over media controls. The fear within civil society is that this will, in the long run, further entrench draconian measures, suppress freedom of expression, and further erode public trust in institutions. As civil society members and media practitioners in the digital realms, we believe it's of utmost importance to address the trend towards Orwellian measures of control/ surveillance that has deepened and to go further than that: to provide alternative solutions and approaches that can be more community-based, grassroots driven, and sustainable for the health of our democracies.

Methodology / Agenda

This will be conducted as a fireside chat. The moderator will begin with a 5 minute opening on the situation of disinformation, repressive laws, and such. Each speaker will then give a brief 5-7 minute opening on their respective experiences/ geographies. This will be followed by a general discussion opened to all on several themes: -Experiences under centralised/ repressive fake news laws -Alternatives to centralised news surveillance

Please provide 3 subject matter tags that best describe your session.



Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)

Name Designation Organization Economy of Residence Stakeholder Group Gender Status of Confirmation
Moderator (Primary) Ong Kar Jin Digital Rights Officer CIJ Malaysia Civil Society Male Confirmed
Moderator (Back-up) Wathshlah Naidu Executive Director CIJ Malaysia Civil Society Female Confirmed
Speaker 1 Kirsten Han Freelance Journalist Independent Singapore Press \/ Media Female Confirmed
Speaker 2 H.E. Wahyuningrum Indonesia\u2019s Representative AICHR Indonesia Intergovernmental Organization Female Confirmed
Speaker 3 Liza Garcia Executive Director Foundation for Media Alternatives Philippines Civil Society Female Confirmed


Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.

Kirsten Han is a highly experienced journalist with significant knowledge on POFMA as well as the Singaporean/ SEA media landscape. Liza Garcia has been highly involved with the media ecosystem in the Philippines, which itself has become a key battleground with Duterte trolls, polarisation, as well as disinformation warfare. H.E. Wahyuningrum will bring her expertise from both an academic, Indonesian, as well as ASEAN background to provide a big picture view of the challenges faced by the media landscape.