Google’s ‘Fighting Misinformation Online: Elections 2024’ summit took place in Brussels last month, hosting a series of elections-focused panel events and expert guests from across government, academia, civil society, and industry.

On Thursday 21st of March, tech companies, policymakers, not-for-profit organisations, academia and media convened to explore the challenges of misinformation online, and share best practices and strategies on how to combat the spread of mis- and disinformation, ahead of what’s set to be a record-year of elections.

Supporting Google for the technology company’s fifth annual summit, the ITN Business team produced and screened a series of videos to amplify the voices and concerns of EU citizens and content creators from across the continent, on the subject of elections and misinformation.

Content that was screened included a series of voxpop clips filmed on location in Brussels, Milan and Prague. The videos captured the views of the general population on the role of AI and misinformation around elections.

WATCH: A voxpop clip screened at the summit.

Further video content featured a discussion between YouTube content creators, as they shared their experiences on engaging with young audiences on civic issues, and strategies for maintaining neutrality, promoting fact-checking, and encouraging the consideration of sources and broader context around news stories.

Watch YouTube content creators share experiences and strategies.

An interview with British journalist, podcaster and political advisor Alastair Campbell was also screened, in which the former Downing Street Press Secretary discussed the importance of critical thinking, media literacy and political education in combating what he describes as “his three ‘P’s”: polarisation, post-truth society, and populism.

Watch the interview with political advisor Alastair Campbell 

Throughout the day a series of talks captured an engaged audience, including the panel session on ‘Reaching Gen Z: Tackling misinformation for a new generation of voters’ which saw ITV News’ social team lead Jossie Evans share insights on how to reach Gen Z audiences with impartial and authoritative content to both inform and entertain.

ITV News’ social team lead Jossie Evans (second from right) shares insights on creating content for Gen Z audiences.

Other highlights of the Google summit, which was co-hosted with YouTube, and supported by partners the European University Institute and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, included a talk on addressing generative AI and election misinformation with Google’s Amanda Storey, Senior Director, Trust & Safety; and a keynote talk with YouTube’s David Wheeldon, Head of EMEA Government Affairs and Public Policy, on tackling election misinformation on YouTube.

You can watch some of the events on-demand here.

Google has been actively involved in efforts to combat mis- and disinformation and support media literacy through various initiatives and partnerships. These efforts include supporting fact-checking organisations, surfacing high quality reliable information, and safeguarding their platforms from abuse.

A record year of elections

In 2024, a record number of elections will take place around the world, in what will be democracy’s biggest test in generations. Up to 400 million citizens will be voting in this year’s European Parliamentary Elections in June, and with the voting age lowered to 16+ in some European countries — such as Germany, Belgium and Malta — more young people can participate in the democratic process.

To support them, Google.org is awarding a $1 million grant to ThinkYoung to fund youth-led hackathons across Europe, empowering young voters to combat disinformation.

Google is also contributing EUR 1.5 million to the European Fact-Checking Standards Network (EFCSN) to launch the Elections24 Check project — a coalition of 40+ news and fact-checking organisations working together to fact check the European Parliamentary Elections.

Share this story, and have a watch of Maria Ressa’s keynote speech from 2023’s Fighting Misinformation Online summit. Read more here.