The year of 2018 will be a turning point in the political arena not only in Brazil, but in Colombia and Mexico as well. Amidst a scenario of polarization compounded by the phenomenon of disinformation, all three countries are on the verge of presidential elections in October, June and July, respectively. Within this context, FGV’s Department of Public Policy Analysis (FGV DAPP) has entered into an agreement with U.S. think tank Atlantic Council to join #ElectionWatch – a project that brings together research centers, fact-checking agencies and regional media outlets to track and deter illegitimate interference in public debate.
Researchers from the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and the Digital Forensic Research Lab, both Atlantic Council programs, will carry out field work alongside local partners across all three Latin American countries before and during the elections. The goal is to support the institutions and promote digital resilience through engagement and empowerment.
FGV DAPP has been focusing on this topic with studies that monitor public debate on social media, track actions from automated accounts, and analyze the dissemination of fake news. On June 22 and 23, FGV DAPP Director, Marco Aurelio Ruediger, and researchers Amaro Grassi and Danilo Carvalho attended the 360 Open Source Summit – a symposium organized by the Atlantic Council in Berlin to discuss open data, social media analysis and digital forensic research. During the event, workshops and panels discussed the latest technologies and research studies to develop digital resilience in defense of democracy.
The two days of the event included interactive sessions and hands-on training for 150 journalists, activists, innovators and leaders from around the world, promoting insights into objective facts and reality within democracy. One of the event’s goals was to strengthen an intersectoral network of “Digital Sherlocks” that will create and nurture the techniques needed to expose fake news, document human rights abuses, and report the reality of global events in real time.