Westminster Media Forum

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Priorities for tackling disinformation and use of deepfakes in the UK

Morning, Tuesday, 23rd July 2024


This conference will focus on priorities for tackling the spread of disinformation and malicious uses of deepfakes.

It is bringing stakeholders and policymakers together to assess current and emerging disinformation trends in the UK, amidst heightened concerns among regulators and affected parties, and with the National Security Strategy Joint Committee considering evidence to its Defending Democracy inquiry.

Sessions in the agenda will look at identifying key threats posed by the deliberate creation of false content and the implications for news media, political stakeholders, commercial actors and wider society, as well as exploring the networks through which disinformation is disseminated.

Areas for discussion include potential attempts to influence democratic processes and amplify political divisions, the proliferation of commercial and financial disinformation for fraudulent purposes, and the wider vulnerabilities across society from the impact of false content.

In assessing the way forward, we expect those attending to draw on POST’s Disinformation: sources, spread and impact report, published in April 2024, which suggested a focus on mitigation rather than attempts to eradicate threat, with key considerations around freedom of expression, access to reliable information, and regulatory agility.

Delegates will assess priorities for tackling threats of online and image-based sexual abuse, as well as the implementation of methods to protect children and consumers on online platforms. They will also consider approaches to combating the use of nudification tools and disinformation linked to online hate, with Ofcom work preparing for implementation of the Online Safety Act alongside their recently published draft three-year media literacy strategy.

Further discussion will examine next steps for building resilience against disinformation and options for improving online detection and takedown methods, including opportunities for using AI and emerging technology to tackle threats.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Ali-Abbas Ali, Director, Media Plurality and Competition, Ofcom; and Simon Robinson, Executive Editor, Reuters. Further senior speakers are being contacted.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • assessing the landscape of disinformation: key and emerging trends - extent of the impact of disinformation on news media and wider society - proliferation on social media and online platforms
  • practical priorities: distinguishing between misinformation, disinformation and fake content - identifying the spread of disinformation related to political issues and matters of national security 
  • key threats: attempts to influence elections and democratic processes - commercial and financial disinformation for fraudulent purposes - strategies for threat reduction and management
  • tackling online harms: combating deepfakes and malicious AI uses, including nudification tools - priorities for reducing disinformation linked to online hate - tackling image-based sexual abuse
  • counter-measures: strategies and processes for tackling threats - improving online detection and takedown methods of harmful content - utilisation of AI - priorities for fact and stat-checking 
  • young people and vulnerable groups: strategies for improving media literacy skills across society - implementation of measures to protect consumers and children on online platforms
  • policy and regulation: priorities in a dynamic landscape - roles and responsibilities - collaborative approaches and frameworks - National Security Online Information Team priorities

Keynote Speakers

Ali-Abbas Ali

Director, Media Plurality and Competition, Ofcom

Simon Robinson

Executive Editor, Reuters

Keynote Speakers

Ali-Abbas Ali

Director, Media Plurality and Competition, Ofcom

Simon Robinson

Executive Editor, Reuters


Simon Staffell

Director of Government Affairs, Microsoft

Pamela San Martín

Member, Meta Oversight Board

Kelsey Farish

Media Lawyer, Reviewed & Cleared

Javahir Askari

Policy Manager, Digital Regulation, techUK