Aarhus University Seal

DATALAB contributes to he Siri Commission’s recommendations to the Danish Parliament

Digital platforms must be held democratically responsible, the media must actively fight disinformation, and politicians must be transparent about their use of data and ads on digital platforms. These are just some of the recommendations that the Siri Commission presented in the Danish parliament.

Social media has given voters, politicians and media an entirely new way of communicating with each other. But as with all changes, these new digital platforms have also given rise to some entirely new challenges. 

On February 8th 2019 in the Danish Parliament, the SIRI Commission presented 10 recommendations on how to combat these challenges. DATALAB’s own Anja Bechmann has contributed to the Siri Commission's report on disinformation and fake news. The report calls for more transparency, tools for fighting disinformation and continued research on the impact of disinformation. 

The fear is that the European public can be manipulated by fake news and disinformation and have their attitudes distorted in a way that can damage democracy. The Siri Commission wishes to strengthen the democratic immune system, so that new media contributes to a stronger democracy rather than weakening it. 

An Ethical Code for use of social media

Another of the primary recommendations was aimed at the politicians, who was urged to take responsibility and agree on a code of conduct for social media usage. This code of conduct should include guidelines for how the politicians should address each other on social media, as well as establish which methods are ethically sound during election campaigns.

The Siri Commission also urged politicians to be more transparent about political campaigns on digital media. In their presentation, the commission used the most recent American election and Brexit as examples of the importance of having a clear sender on political campaigns. Some Politicians are positive about the commission’s call for more transparency, while others see it as too much of a restriction.

Gentlemen’s Agreement will prevent foreign election meddling

According to the speaker of the Danish Parliament Pia Kjærsgaard, the different parties are however ready to enact on a “gentlemen’s agreement”. This gentlemen’s agreement will prevent foreign forces from affecting the Danish election by fighting misinformation and fake news.

More specifically the agreement will entail that Danish politicians will not use misinformation and fake news as ammunition against each other. As part of the agreement the politicians will also commit themselves to keep each other informed if something should be afoot.

The Siri Commission

The Siri Commission was founded by the engineer-association, IDA, and member of the Danish Parliament, Ida Auken, in 2016. The commission’s purpose is to map out the possibilities and the difficulties related to artificial intelligence and digital media.

The Siri Commissions latest report about AI, media and democracy can be found in Danish here: https://ida.dk/media/3441/ai-medier-og-demokrati-2019-siri-komissionen.pdf