Workshop Empowering Election Integrity in the Global Majority | GloTech Lab
Written May 2, 2024

O Global Technology for Social Justice (GloTech) Lab, a new center for critical technology and global studies based at the University of Massachusetts, marked its official launch with an event that brought together 60 academics and civil society leaders from around the world on April 18 and 19. Under the leadership of Jonathan Ong, director of GloTech Lab, the workshop entitled “Empowering Election Integrity in the Global Majority” had as its main objective the exchange of strategies to promote inclusive electoral coalitions, monitor and demonetize disseminators of disinformation, in addition to exploring the use of artificial intelligence tools for high-impact investigations, in the midst of a global election year.

A significant part of the event involved the presentation and discussion of the pioneering study entitled “Custom Built / Feito Sob Medida: Strategy Blueprint for Global Majority Election Coalitions”, which compared electoral experiences in Brazil and the Philippines. This study, led by researchers from INCT-DSI Marcelo Alves (Director of Methodology and Innovation at DX), Raquel Recuero, Rafael Grohmann and Camilla Tavares, was widely debated during the event. Additionally, Marcelo Alves participated in a panel on the financing of disinformation.

This event represents a continuation of a collaboration that began two years ago, sparked by Professor Jonathan Ong of the University of Massachusetts and brokered by Rafael Grohmann of the University of Toronto. Initially conceived to carry out a comparative analysis between the experiences of combating disinformation and protecting democracy in Brazil and the Philippines, the event evolved to include experts from around the world, especially from the Global South, who shared their experiences and successful strategies and unsuccessful in tackling misinformation.

In addition to the central discussions, the event had a diverse agenda, including presentations on electoral contexts and information strategies in countries such as South Korea, as well as working groups focused on specific topics, such as the demonetization of disinformation. Participants hope that the lessons learned during the event can be applied to future elections around the world, including the Indian electoral context, and contribute to improving strategies to combat disinformation on a global scale.

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