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CEDMO Researcher, Michal Šenk, Speaks at Conference in Budapest


In the wake of the critical EU parliamentary elections on June 6th through June 9th, 2024, disinformation analysts and experts convened in Budapest to discuss new developments throughout the recent Hungarian double elections. Organized by EIF, Lakmusz, Mérték, and Political Capital, the conference entitled “European and Hungarian Trends After the Double Elections in Hungary” drew attention and support from across Europe. 

Given the conference’s importance, Charles University and CEDMO researcher, Michal Šenk, attended as a speaker for the “Social Media Platforms and Election Campaigns” panel alongside Paolo Cesarini, Programme Director of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), and Krisztina Stump, Head of the Media Convergence and Community Media Unit of the European Commission’s DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. To use Michal’s own words, this panel “discussed the evolution of misinformation on social media in the context of new technologies (AI) and the just held EU elections. The conference was also important in terms of collaboration between the hubs – the morning closed programme consisted of presenting the results of our Hungarian colleagues, with the understanding that we would use this groundwork to agree how we would approach our collaboration.”

By the end of the conference, it became clear that while the proliferation of deep fakes never materialized, misinformation remained rampant throughout recent election cycles. On the other hand, the conference emphasized the EU’s important role in combating misinformation, as it obliges Meta, TikTok, Google, and Microsoft to cooperate with EU disinformation regulations through the 2022 Digital Services Act. Despite this optimism, Michal believes that these companies are unreliable at fighting misinformation, due in part to underpaid employees and language barriers. Above all, the importance of deeper cooperation was clear, as many of the trends seen in Hungary are felt across Europe.

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