APrIGF 2022 Session Proposal Submission Form
Part 1 - Lead Organizer
Contact Person
Mr. Charles Mok
Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate) *
Tech for Good Asia
Economy of Residence
Hong Kong
Primary Stakeholder Group
Technical Community
List Your Organizing Partners (if any)
Global Digital Policy Incubator, Stanford University
Mr. Charles Mok (Onsite Moderator)
Visiting Scholar

COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN), Secretariat of Public Communication Team, Indonesia
Mr. Donny B.U (Online Facilitator)
Secretariat Coordinator

Common Room / RCCE
Mr. Gustaff Iskandar (Onsite Co-Moderator)
Executive Director

ICT Watch / Siberkreasi
Mr. Indriyatno Banyumurti (Online Co-Facilitator)
Executive Director
Part 2 - Session Proposal
Session Title
Combating Disinformation from COVID-19 to the General Election: Multistakeholder Digital Literacy vs Legislation & Censorship?
Session Format
Panel Discussion
Where do you plan to organize your session?
Onsite at the venue (with online moderator for questions and comments from remote participants)
Specific Issues for Discussion
Disinformation has become one of the biggest threats to trust on the Internet, in Asia and all over the world, as well as a major threat for public health, frauds, crimes, inequality, discrimination and election integrity. What should the civil/technical society as well as governments do?

In particular, we will look at SE Asia, which has a thriving digital economy with over 400 million internet users. Except for Laos, Myanmar, and Timor-Leste, all nations in SE Asia have internet penetration rates of over 70%. During the COVID-19 pandemic, screen usage time of users in SE Asia jumped, surpassing the global average at about 7 hours a day. But the "disinformation viruses" (hoaxes) have also grown, making some citizens distrust health professionals, neglect health protocols, refuse vaccination and even disobey health advisories. Similarly, election disinformation has also become a common concern in many countries, with serious political repercussion and impact to election fairness.

So, has netizens' digital literacy improved as Internet penetration grows? As Asian governments turn to legislation to tackle this issue, requiring content moderation from social media platforms, how can we prevent these laws from becoming tools of censorship? We believe that multistakeholderism has an important role to play, and civil/technical societies should be further empowered to find better alternatives to unilateral legislative enforcement.

Our discussion will emphasize the following:
- Multistakeholder collaboration in an equal, inclusive, and participatory manner for policy setting
- Capacity development to improve digital literacy of the community, by actively engaging with local actors and source persons in the preparation, implementation, and development of activities
- Utilizing public online platforms and creative-commons licensed knowledge to maximize availability of knowledge and free access
- Facilitating neutral and professional factchecking mechanism and re
Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF
This panel addresses all APrIGF thematic tracks of trust, inclusion, and sustainability. Disinformation is one of the biggest threat undermining trust on the Internet, making it less inclusive and more divisive, and threatening the sustainability of the whole network ecosystem. Content moderation by platforms and their "AI" or governments' attempts to regulate seem to create more problems that harm freedom of expression and information flows. Civil/technical community involvement under multistakeholderism -- consistent with IGF values -- is the only viable solution, by constantly improving and updating citizens' digital literacy. Technology alone cannot solve the problem of digital deception

We believe a human rights-based strategy to combat disinformation and hoaxes should be organized, focusing more on education to the Internet users on digital literacy and critical thinking. Even in case of legislation, sufficient safeguards to free speech and the establishment of specific legal standards for objective harm before invoking liability etc. should be necessary.

Disinformation cannot be removed by technological solutions alone. It is a complex social issue that demands an open, collaborative, multistakeholder process, involving policymakers, civil society organizations, private sector (especially the online platforms), academics, and technical community, in line with the spirit of the IGF. We hope that the panel can serve as the first of a series of sessions in search of regional solutions to tackle all forms of digital authoritarianism from disinformation to surveillance, as we try to protect the core values of the Internet -- open, free, equal, safe, secure and resilient.
Methodology / Agenda (Please add rows by clicking "+" on the right)
Time frame (e.g. 5 minutes, 20 minutes, should add up to 60 minutes) Description
5 minutes Introduction and scene setting by moderator
Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)
  • Moderator (Primary)

    • Name: Charles Mok
    • Organization: Tech for Good Asia
    • Designation: Director
    • Gender: M
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Hong Kong
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Moderator (Facilitator)

    • Name: Donny B.U
    • Organization: KPCPEN / ICT Watch
    • Designation: Officer
    • Gender: M
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Indonesia
    • Stakeholder Group: Government
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 1

    • Name: Rizky Ika Syafitri
    • Organization: UNICEF / RCCE
    • Designation: C4D Specialist
    • Gender: F
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Indonesia
    • Stakeholder Group: Intergovernmental Organizations
    • Expected Presence: Online
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 2

    • Name: Indriyatno Banyumurti
    • Organization: ICT Watch / Siberkreasi
    • Designation: Executive Director
    • Gender: M
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Indonesia
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 3

    • Name: Dr Kyung Sin PARK
    • Organization: Open Net / Korea University
    • Designation: Director / Professor
    • Gender: M
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Korea
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 4

    • Name: Alice Budisatrijo
    • Organization: Meta
    • Designation: APAC Head of Misinformation Policy
    • Gender: F
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Singapore
    • Stakeholder Group: Private Sector
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.
The above currently proposed speakers/panelists are chosen in order to have a good diversity and mix from different regions in Asia and also from different stakeholder communities, i.e. civil society, academics and private sector. They have the competence, knowledge and experience related to tackling disinformation as well as digital literacy, online freedom and government legislations. Specifically, resource persons from UNICEF and ICT WATCH during the pandemic carried out collaborative work with various parties such as the Public Communication Team of the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN), to handle hoaxes in the community through online and onsite channels. Prof Park is an expert in legal and regulatory policy matters and can make comments for the region. Google is a prominent online platform that deals with hoaxes and government requests in multiple jurisdictions in Asia.
If you need assistance to find a suitable speaker to contribute to your session, or an onsite facilitator for your online-only session, please specify your request with details of what you are looking for.
It is not necessary at this stage.

REQUEST 1: Mrs Rizky will need an invitation letter from the APrIGF organizer, due to her position as a UN agency officer, in order to attend in person. Please facilitate that with us/her ASAP.

REQUEST 2: Due to travel schedule we would hope to request the session to be held on the first day (Sep 12) or the morning of the second day (Sep 13) of the APrIGF program. Thank you for your attention!
Please declare if you have any potential conflict of interest with the Program Committee 2022.
Are you or other session contributors planning to apply for the APrIGF Fellowship Program 2022?
APrIGF offers live transcript in English for all sessions. Do you need any other translation support or any disability related requests for your session? APrIGF makes every effort to be a fully inclusive and accessible event, and will do the best to fulfill your needs.
Yes, English live transcript and/or sign language interpreter is needed, if possible.
Brief Summary of Your Session
Our session combined speakers from different backgrounds and a mix of local vs regional experiences to look at issues surrounding online disinformation and what to do about it -- between multi-stakeholder digital literacy building to intermediary self-regulation to regulation by law, or even criminal punishment. Our speakers were from the industry (regional/global platform intermediary), civil society and inter-governmental agency working on these issues on both health-related concerns, such as Covid information and vaccine hesitancy, as well as election falsehood. The general consensus was that building digital literacy, while being a long-term effort, should still be the preferred solution, but industry self-regulation and the use of technology to supplement the effort to stamp out disinformation would still be required. While the speakers mostly agree that government regulation or criminally punishing misinformation would be problematic, especially for political and election related content, one speaker maintained for health related issues it would still be necessary to balance the need for some regulation.
Substantive Summary of the Key Issues Raised and the Discussion
Alice Budisatrijo (Meta) spoke on Meta's system to deal with misinformation and disinformation, by ranking content, working with fact-checkers, publishing guidelines, political ad restrictions, etc, as an example of industry self-regulation, and how deliberate distribution of disinformation by organized actors may lead to elimination of the whole network. But Meta also acknowledged the need for balance with free discussion, and agreed with all that digital literacy building and clear principles to balance harms vs free speech would be needed.

Dr Park focused on his views against criminally punishing disinformation, using vivid examples from Korea where the rulers penalized opponents for speaking the truth, only for the victims to be exonerated decades later. Although policymakers claim that election disinformation must be punished because of the short period of time involved, he argued that would have adverse effects on public discussions. The reason is that the biggest problem is always state-sponsored disinformation, which carries legitimacy and oppressive power. Laws will let the government press only its version of the truth, misdirecting attention away from hate speech, discrimination and the pattern of disinformation, e.g. automated trolling. He also supports the use of technology on solving problems caused by technology, as a way platforms can do to self-regulate.

Indriyatno Banyumurti focused on the experience in Indonesia combating Covid/health disinformation using online education, collaborative hybrid workshops, making movies and animation to promote anti-hoax messages, and working with fact-checkers as well as government, as ways to build digital literacy in a diverse cultural and social environment such as Indonesia. Disinformation will be even more challenging in upcoming election but education will remain important.

Rizky Ika Syafitri described her experience with using survey to understand why people believe in hoaxes, causing vaccine hesitancy, for instance, while strategizing how to debunk the hoaxes and provide easy tools for fact-checking, coordinating at the national level. She emphasized the need to understand it is more than an issue with disinformation, but also one of unbalanced or even too much information, as survey shows more than 40% of Indonesian public admitted they could not distinguish what is true. While digital literacy is long-term, it is the best approach. But she maintains for some issues such as health related ones, some regulations or even punishment for falsehood may be needed and that may be different from political disinformation which may be harder to prove or more subjective.
Conclusions and Suggestions of Way Forward
Our panelists agree on the preference for multi-stakeholder digital literacy over regulations, although there are some different opinions over whether regulations may be of use in some circumstances, compared to others, like between health related issues and election disinformation. Going forward, we may examine these two alternatives more deeply. For building digital literacy, what is the best collaborative way for different stakeholders to achieve the best results? How to best promote this approach to governments and the public, so that policymakers can be influenced more to support these options?

On the other hand, for the concern over regulations, the trend in Asian economies today appears to be moving toward exactly the wrong direction, that is, more and more regulation and government deciding what is the truth, and enforcing that over platforms, which must "follow local laws". The consequence may be extremely harmful for free speech and may end up with endless state-sponsored disinformation. How can civil society in Asian countries deal with this reality and deal with such regulations? Will digital literacy effort need to be redoubled from distinguishing disinformation to also identifying harmful laws and government-sponsored disinformation?
Number of Attendees (Please fill in numbers)
    Gender Balance in Moderators/Speakers (Please fill in numbers)
    • Moderators

      • Male: 2
    • Speakers

      • Male: 2
      • Female: 2
    How were gender perspectives, equality, inclusion or empowerment discussed? Please provide details and context.
    While most of our discussion was not directly about gender, equality, inclusion or empowerment issues, digital literacy for the masses that we advocate was related to empowerment of underprivileged, underserved or under-represented communities.
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