EUvsDisinfo does provide a good example, but I can provide a better one — when I launched BlogActiv in 2007, the EUReferendum crowd (UKIP forefathers) assumed that we were EU-funded and reacted accordingly.

The thing is, we weren’t. We’d have welcomed funding, but there was none. It didn’t matter — eurosceptics made it impossible for us to engage with them, and all I got for trying was a thicker skin.

So there doesn’t even need to be any evidence of EU support to turn away many of the people you’re trying to reach.

Now imagine the EU regulates the platforms, and sanctions platforms for not using indicators from an approved list. How well do you think that would work?

Our better hope is to stimulate a marketplace by simultaneously:

  • creating demand, using regulation only if necessary, and not specifying the use of indicators from any sort of approved list, even the de facto one which the EC’s planned activities may create
  • supporting the emergence of different and competing indicator suppliers, probably through research funding

Competition between indicator suppliers is therefore essential — consolidating them into one ‘super indicator’ would stifle innovation and create a de facto ministry of truth.

I agree the ownership of these indicators would become an issue, in much the same way as foreign ownership of mainstream media is still an issue in many countries.

As for media business models … without a new one, where people pay for content, all efforts towards a better information sphere are doomed.

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Piloting innovative online communications since 1995. Editor: medium.com/Knowledge4Policy. Founder: MyHub.ai. Personal Hub: https://myhub.ai/@mathewlowry/

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