Knowledge-based societies rely to a large extent on intangible outputs and digital technologies, and these are having a growing influence on information systems, media, governance and citizenship. At the same time, the increasing role played by online platforms in manipulating transnational public debates, legitimising algorithmic non-transparent decision-making and inciting hate speech and violence through misinformation, disinformation and propaganda are warning signs of the negative repercussions such digital ecosystem can have on rule of law, political systems, free thought and critical awareness. There is a clear need for international regulation in this area. Rooted in an interdisciplinary approach, this chapter combines an examination of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological frameworks with an analysis of various relevant public and private archives. The aim is threefold: to outline the issues and challenges in terms of human (and labour) rights, freedom and democracy; to identify the regulatory provisions adopted at European and international level to promote accountability, civil participation, and digital literacy; and to identify future prospects, risks and uncertainties in the era of artificial intelligence.
Part of the book: Fake News Is Bad News