PL 2630, disinformation, media education, and technological sovereignty are some of the topics that will be debated by researchers and experts from Latin America and Europe

New information and communication technologies and the infodemic as a phenomenon of our time, have impacted democracies in various parts of the world. To debate and seek solutions, the 1st Big Techs, Information and Democracy in Latin America Seminar will be held on December 5th and 6th, 2023, at FECAP, in the city of São Paulo.

The event will be attended by representatives from the Brazilian government and parliament, civil society organizations, and researchers from Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay, Costa Rica, and France to discuss and present proposals for the regulation of digital platforms.

The 1st Big Techs, Information, and Democracy Seminar in Latin America Seminar is organized by Intervozes – Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social, Coalizão Direitos na Rede and the Forum on Information and Democracy. Intervozes and CDR are part of the global civil society coalition supporting the Forum.

In August this year, during a visit by the Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Maria Laura da Rocha, to France, Brazil signed the International Partnership for Information and Democracy. This intergovernmental agreement, initiated in September 2019, in New York, brings together 51 countries committed to promote and implement democratic principles in the global information and communication space.

The Forum on Information and Democracy was mandated by the signatory states to become the civil society-led entity of the Partnership, in order to transform these commitments into concrete action. The Forum is a trusted partner of democratic governments, developing policy recommendations on the most urgent challenges of the information and communication space, and promoting their implementation by different spheres and countries. Through multi-stakeholder processes, the Forum seeks and integrates perspectives, experiences and expertise from its expanding network of political actors, activists, academics, experts and civil society organizations around the world.

Regulation and sovereignty

The seminar is organized around four central axes and an opening conference and four debate tables open to the public are planned. In the afternoon, working groups will be held with invited organizations and researchers.

On December 5th, starting at 9 am, the panel “Experiences in regulating platforms in Latin America and the elaboration of a regional agenda for the topic: 2630 and other legislative initiatives” will take place, which will have the participation of Gustavo Gómez, executive director of Observacom (Uruguay); João Brant, Secretary of Digital Policies at the Special Secretariat for Communication of the Presidency of the Republic (SECOM); deputy Orlando Silva, rapporteur of PL 2630, known as PL das Fake News; Paulo Rená, representative of the Rights on the Network Coalition; and Ramênia Vieira, executive coordinator of Intervozes. Mediation will be by Nina Santos, from the Combating Disinformation Room.

The construction of autonomous alternatives for the dissemination of online information and technological sovereignty will be debated in the second panel, which will begin at 11 a.m. Participating are Daniela Bello, collaborator at Rhizomática (Mexico); Guillermo Mastrini, researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET/Argentina); Nikole Yanes, activist from the Code Sur Collective (Latin America); and Rodolfo Avelino, from Coletivo Digital. The mediation will be carried out by Oona Castro, director of Institutional Development at the Nupef Institute.

Plurality and media education

The economic regulation of digital platforms, alternatives to break the abuse of economic power by large companies that control the internet, and combating the lack of plurality and diversity of information make up the third axis of the seminar’s discussions. At the podium, which will be held on December 6th, at 9 am, there will be Ana Mielke, executive coordinator of Intervozes; Camille Grenier, director of operations at the Forum on Information & Democracy (France); Gabrielle Graça, Digital Rights advisor at Artigo 19; and Helena Martins, representative of the Rights on the Network Coalition. Mediation will be by Maricarmen Sequeira, co-executive director of TEDIC (Paraguay).

From 11 a.m., ending the program open to the public, the panel “Education for the media and the construction of alternatives: how to empower and encourage spaces for social participation of users in Latin America to improve the digital environment” will take place. The debaters will be Isabella Henriques, executive director of Instituto Alana; Juliana Cintra, institutional coordinator of Ação Educativa; Kemly Camacho, general coordinator of the Sulá Batsú Cooperative (Costa Rica); and Vitor Pimenta, director of the Network Rights and Media Education Department at SECOM. Mediation will be by Victor Vicente, from Instituto Vero.

The debates will be held in the morning, free of charge, and open to public participation.

The 1st Big Techs, Information and Democracy in Latin America Seminar has the support of the Forum on Information and Democracy, Luminate and the Fundação Escola de Comércio Álvares Penteado (FECAP)

I Big Techs, Information and Democracy Seminar
Data: December 5th and 6th, 2023
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (open to the public), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (invitation only).
Location: FECAP (Avenida da Liberdade, 532 – Liberdade – São Paulo/SP)