Information integrity online
The erosion of information integrity, including the propagation of disinformation, weakens the strength of democratic engagement because it hinders open public debate on important issues that affect all of us. Access to diverse and reliable sources of information, and ultimately a shared set of facts, are essential for well-functioning societies. This enables people to form opinions, hold governments to account, and participate in public debate.
The importance of information integrity
Information integrity is essential to help enable the strength of democratic processes and to protect fundamental rights. When information is distorted or manipulated, it can have severe consequences. Lives can be put at risk when disinformation online incites discrimination and violence offline. Illiberal regimes often exploit digital technology to conduct information warfare, promoting deception, division, and sowing distrust in democratic processes and institutions.
The role of the global declaration
Canada and the Netherlands launched the Global Declaration on Information Integrity Online on September 20, 2023 in New York, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly High-level Week.
The Declaration draws from existing research, policy and principles on safeguarding the information ecosystem to establish a set of high-level international commitments to serve as a framework and guide for governments to uphold information integrity online, including government engagement with industry. It looks to help us strengthen our responses to the opportunities and challenges that generative artificial intelligence (AI) brings to the information ecosystem. The Declaration constitutes a concrete step towards the development of international norms for addressing information integrity online that is rooted in democratic values.
The Declaration calls upon all participating states to take concrete steps to:
- Abstain from and condemn state-led disinformation campaigns
- Respect, promote and fulfill the right to freedom of expression
- Implement relevant legislation in compliance with international law
- Avoid stifling freedom of expression under the guise of countering disinformation
- Promote stronger civic education online and digital literacy
- Support independent media, news and journalism
- Take active steps to address disinformation targeting groups in vulnerable situations
Invites industry to:
- Respect the rule of law and commit to not abusing human rights
- Enhance transparency in advertising, algorithm and content moderation processes
- Provide clear and timely redress mechanisms to users
- Support for independent researchers and fact-checkers
- Abide by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
List of participating states
Initial participating states as of September 20, 2023
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- North Macedonia
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
- 2023-09-20 - Joint Statement by Canada and the Netherlands on the launch of the Global Declaration on Information Integrity Online
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