19TH MELAKA INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DIALOGUE “YOUTH DECONSTRUCTING FAKE NEWS”

23RD – 27TH JUNE 2019 LA BOSS HOTEL, MELAKA, MALAYSIA DECLARATION
1 PREAMBLE

1.1 We, the young people from 33 countries around the world, attended the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue (MIYD), convened in Melaka from 23rd – 27th June, 2019 for an annual programme organized by the World Assembly of Youth (WAY).

1.2 Recognizing the vital role of young people in addressing fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and mal-information, WAY has selected ‘Youth Deconstructing Fake News’ as the theme of this Dialogue in order to uplift ideas and encourage young people to attain truthful and reliable means of communication, and distribute authentic and trustworthy information. Particularly, the assurance of democratic values in all aspects of life, and realization of responsible freedom of expression by protecting and sorting out the truth from fiction without becoming cynical.

1.3 This theme has emphasized the actions that young people and other stakeholders should take towards addressing media illiteracy and developing the essential skills to critically evaluate information and mainstream media. This dialogue has identified the roles and concerns of all stakeholders towards deconstructing fake news, and declared that now is the right time and opportunity to act in partnership in order to enhance youth contribution towards media literacy and the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The guiding principles for this declaration were based on the following objectives:

• To provide a platform for sharing of knowledge and experiences in addressing fake news;

• To find effective and efficient solutions in tackling the issue of fake news and false information;

• To converse on the challenges, experiences, and lessons learned from the national youth councils in practicing reliable means of communication and authentic distribution of information;

• To come up with mechanism and programmes that would detect, filter, and halt the distribution of fake news and/or false information;

• To outline strategies for youth to tap on media literacy in order to avoid spread of fake news and false information;

• To discuss the role of different stakeholders i.e. public sector, private sector, academia, NGOs, media and others, in detecting and limiting the spread of fake news and misleading information;

• To establish frameworks that would determine the verifiability of a news and information;

• To develop strategies that would address the issue of fake news and misleading information;

• To form and / or amend the national, regional, and international policies that would undertake the issue of fake news and false information;

• To foster networking, collaboration, and partnership among youth and all stakeholders in order to address the issue of fake news and misleading information;

• To advance the role of youth in media literacy and actively involve them in the social development and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

2. RECOMMENDATIONS

Participants have identified key recommendations for implementation by stakeholders including: public sector, private sector, NGOs/IGOs, media, and young people alike. In addition, participants also established commitments and outcomes in pursuit of deconstructing fake news.

2.1 PUBLIC SECTOR 2.1.1. To develop and amend policies that shall hold organisations and individuals accountable for publishing and spreading fake news that affects societies.

2.1.2. To create cyber security policies that would monitor and regulate online media platforms.

2.1.3. To encourage existing institutions and new initiatives aimed at identifying, monitoring, and discouraging the spread of fake news.

2.1.4. To initiate campaigns in order to raise awareness about media literacy among all stakeholders.

2.1.5. To create credibility rankings and policies regarding the differences between entertainment and actual media outlets.

2.1.6. To prevent fake and misleading news that causes armed conflicts which aim to destroy countries and its citizens.

2.1.7. To assure the rights, safety, and security of all authentic media personnel and platforms.

2.1.8. To ensure accessibility and transparency of information to all media personnel and relevant agencies as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

2.1.9. To introduce and create educational platforms and encourage critical thinking in order to identify false information, misinformation, disinformation, mal-information, and fake news.

2.1.10. To provide resources, technical support, and methods to deconstruct fake news for media outlets within the nation and other countries in need.

2.2 PRIVATE SECTOR

2.2.1 To allocate and invest an adequate amount of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) resources for the pursuit of deconstructing fake news. 2.2.2 To conduct awareness activities and programmes on how to tackle fake news within the organisations, products, and services.

2.2.3 To allocate resources for Research and Development that create algorithms and tools to detect fake news that negatively affects their brand and by extension, their industry.

2.2.4 To ensure that Public Relations strategies are authentic and trustworthy.

2.2.5 To encourage and strengthen collaboration among stakeholders with regards to gathering and disseminating information, and promoting the publication of genuine news.

2.2.6 To encourage and support young people to acquire media literacy regarding the laws and regulations at local and international levels.

2.3 NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS

2.3.1 To design, support, and carry out participatory programmes on deconstructing fake news at all levels.

2.3.2 To create activities and awareness programmes among young people regarding the consequences of spreading fake news.

2.3.3 To build synergies with governments and other stakeholders in order to reduce the spread of fake news.

2.3.4 To utilise resources in order to assist in enhancement of media literacy for the identification and eradication of fake news.

2.3.5 To commit to transparency in the form of disclosure of policies, procedures, and publications that affirms the veracity of their activities in order to build trust among the public.

2.3.6 To set up mechanisms and tools that monitor fake news on social media and other platforms.

2.4 MEDIA

2.4.1 To dedicate space in all media outlets that would promote and educate the people on the importance of deconstructing fake news.

2.4.2 To share impactful, high quality, and accurate information in order to reduce the spread of fake news online and in print media.

2.4.3 To create awareness and educational programmes relating to the consequences of publishing and spreading of fake news.

2.4.4 To encourage and influence journalists to pursue and practice increased professional career ethics and proactively detect and uncover new cases and forms of fake news.

2.4.5 To ensure that social media should improve its investment in fact-checking, verifying accuracy, and authenticity of all posts.

2.4.6 To remain vigilant and authentic against stakeholders who tend to promote and disseminate fake news.

2.4.7 To engage influential public figures in increasing awareness against the spreading of fake news.

2.5 YOUTH

2.5.1 To create and implement awareness and advocacy programmes in regards to youth and media literacy to be carried out by the youth for the youth.

2.5.2 To ensure meaningful youth participation in activities that identifies and reduces fake news at local, national, regional, and international level. 2.5.3 To refrain from spreading fake news and correct identified false content.

2.5.4 To engage and inspire young people in deconstructing fake news and ensure inclusiveness at all levels.

2.5.5 To report and stand firm against misinformation, disinformation, mal-information, and fake news.

3 CONCLUSION

We, the participants of the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue, recognize the importance of empowering and equipping young people with the right knowledge, skills, proper attitude, and approach for achieving media literacy. Recognizing that in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we the young people, should be at the forefront of universal transformation taking actions in advocating against the spread of misinformation, disinformation, mal-information, and fake news. Hence, we believe that with the continuous support of all the stakeholders, we should reach our desired goal which is, deconstruction of fake news.

Youth Leaders Present, Representing: Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe – worked on this document … until all hours of the morning, 26/27 June ‘19.

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Special Thanks to: Patrick Sciarratta, Program Director for Public Events at the UN through the World Development Foundation; and President of the Vinculum Foundation, a private 501c3, tax exempt foundation in the USA.

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