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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon 2019, the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age.

Together at RightsCon Tunis, our first summit hosted in the Middle East and North Africa, more than 2500 expert practitioners will come together across over 400 sessions to shape, contribute to, and drive forward the global agenda for the future of our human rights.

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The Future of Media in the Age of Misinformation [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 12


Prepare Don't Panic: Strategize a human rights-based response to deepfake technologies, synthetic media, and increasing volumes of visual misinformation
Videos, audio and memes, often crudely edited or recycled and re-contextualized, play a critical role in misinformation, influence operations, ‘fake news’ and in inciting violence. New sophisticated, personalized audio and video manipulations called “deepfakes,” as well as other forms of AI-generated and manipulated “synthetic media” that allow changes/additions to videos add to the problem. These media forms will amplify, expand, and alter existing problems around trust in information, verification, and weaponization of online spaces. To address this proactively, a range of approaches are being considered by platforms, independent technologists and start-ups, journalists and news organizations, human rights and CS orgs, regulators and policy-makers. In the session you'll learn about proposed solutions/approaches to address deepfakes and synthetic media. A series of short interventions/provocations will start discussion, then we'll structure an interactive conversation around real possibilities for policy, platform, civil society action/reaction. We'll focus on applying an international human rights lens (and one that prioritizes marginalized communities and vulnerable populations): *Who should be involved and what forms of multi-stakeholder collaboration are key? *How do we preserve/uphold human rights in developing responses to new forms of misinformation? *What roles should companies and public policy play? *What approaches should a human rights community support?

avatar for Sam Gregory

Sam Gregory

Program Director, WITNESS
In short....video, human rights, citizen participation, role of companies, AI and deep fakes/content moderation, live video and experiential activismIn long...Sam Gregory is Program Director of WITNESS (www.witness.org), which supports anyone anywhere to use video and technology to... Read More →

avatar for Jake Lucchi

Jake Lucchi

Head of AI and Data Value, Google Asia Pacific
AI, data, content

Wednesday June 12, 2019 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Elydhafa (Laico)
Thursday, June 13


Visual Investigations at the New York Times: Innovations in Truth Telling
Throughout 2018, The Times applied its innovative methods of visual forensics to deconstruct chaotic events and “official” explanations. Its rigorous analysis exposed the culpability of nations and stripped away the confusion surrounding acts of violence here and abroad. It set the record straight. Journalism has traditionally depended on witnesses and documents, often leaked, to uncover the truth. But today, beyond records now often residing on the Internet, the available evidence is typically audiovisual: a cellphone video, a police-scanner audio, a satellite image, an Instagram post. Our stories employed novel journalistic sleuthing and cutting-edge software to gather and analyze evidence, allowing us to answer fundamental questions with authority. Who dropped a canister onto a Douma apartment building, and did it contain deadly chlorine gas? How did a bullet pass through a chaotic crowd in Gaza to kill a medic? Who killed Jamal Khashoggi, and how? Whenever murkiness enveloped some event anywhere in the world, it was often the visual investigations unit of The Times who cleared away the fog to reveal the truth. This session showcases the techniques that have set the standard for a fresh form of impactful journalism.

avatar for Barbara Marcolini

Barbara Marcolini

Journalist, The New York Times

Thursday June 13, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Adean (Palais)


Beyond Bots: Anticipating challenges from future tech and disinformation
This session will provide participants space to discuss how emerging technologies—especially in the areas of synthetic media, machine-learning augmented automation, and precision propaganda— might affect the work of journalists, civil society, and other stakeholders present in the room. In this interactive session, participants will be asked to discuss current media trends and anticipated technological advancements relevant to the spread of disinformation, and how these developments may enable political actors to inflame political divides, diminish social trust, or suppress civic mobilization. Based on the concerns identified, participants will then discuss what can be done to proactively mitigate future challenges and how media and civil society can adapt in a scenario where preventative measures fail to take hold.


Thursday June 13, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Oya 3 (Laico)
Friday, June 14


Broadcasting Peace During War: Yemeni community radios
The digital space has allowed the increase of access to information. But after an initial honeymoon, media are today under scrutiny accused of misinformation, hate speech, fake news and public trust at an all-time low. In time of conflict or political upheaval, opinions are quick to be polarized and people turned one against another. What is the role of the media in our society ? Can media be a force for good bringing people together and contribute to peace and reconciliation? Yemen has been torn apart by conflict and poverty. What has been doing the media? Force for good or devil? Appeasing or fueling the conflict? Navigating through troubled waters, come and listen to the voices of Yemeni community radios ''broadcasting Peace in time of War''. What can we learn from their experiences? Find out on their program for peace, campaigns and community driven content. We will discuss opportunities, challenges and brainstorm medium to promote Peace and Human Rights.

avatar for Saoussen Ben Cheikh

Saoussen Ben Cheikh

MENA Project Manager, Internews
Saoussen Ben Cheikh is a Human Rights professional who has over 10 years' experience working extensively across the Middle East and North Africa region delivering aid, mentoring grass roots initiatives, documenting Human Rights violations and researching on issues of governance and... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Oya 2 (Laico)


رؤية المجتمع للمدونين وصحافة المواطنة
يتمثل الهدف من هذه الحلقة في عرض وتحليل التمثل المجتمعي لماهية المدونين وصحفيي المواطنة ودورهم ومساهمتهم في النقاش العام، ومن ثمة جملة الحقوق التي يتمتعون بها والالتزامات الواقعة عليهم، وذلك من أجل الخروج بمجموعة من التوصيات يمكن اقتراحها على السلطة التشريعية عند مناقشة القانون الأساسي المتعلق بحرية التعبير والصحافة والطباعة والنشر وبمجوعة من الاقتراحات يمكن مناقشتها مع مجلس الصحافة في تونس.

avatar for JU.Dr. Aymen Zaghdoudi

JU.Dr. Aymen Zaghdoudi

Professor in public law and MENA Legal advisor, Article 19
Legal advisor at ARTICLE 19 MENA and professor in public law with a focus on freedom of expression and media laws issues.

avatar for Hafedh Ghribi

Hafedh Ghribi

Journalist and producer, FTDJ, Radio 6, National TV
I am journalist and national consultant on press issues. I took many positions at different media outlet such as Dar Assabah.
avatar for Saloua Ghazouani

Saloua Ghazouani

Regional director Tunisia and MENA, ARTICLE 19
Saloua Ghazouani Oueslati- Regional Director of ARTICLE 19 MENA Office. She has 16 years of experience working in non-governmental and multi-lateral organizations, including the UNDP in Tunisia and the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR). Saloua holds an MSc in... Read More →
avatar for Amal Mekki

Amal Mekki

Journalist, Freelance
Amal Mekki is an independent journalist interested in human rights. She has worked with a number of Tunisian media, including Inkyfada, as well as foreign media such as The Guardian.She is the first Tunisian journalist to win a case against the Ministry of the Interior regarding access... Read More →

Friday June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Oya 3 (Laico)


Network Propaganda in a Comparative Perspective: a South-North dialogue about democracy, privacy and free speech
Propaganda and misinformation are on the radar of activists, academics, the private sector, and government agents. In different countries, electoral and political processes unveiled a sensitive relationship between social media and democracy, bringing attention to the dynamics of polarization, media mistrust, manipulation, and hateful speech. In these different realities, economic, political, cultural and even information diet patterns shape context, presenting particular aspects of these phenomena. This fishbowl will be focused on sharing experiences and perspectives about how to discover and tackle these dynamics through different techniques and perspectives. The main questions to be addressed are: what is general and what is contextual? How global platforms should deal with these differences? Which research findings can and cannot establish common ground in policy discussions about the subject? The session will be structured as a frank conversation between five observers from different standpoints, promoting exchange between Global North and South approaches (such as Harvard’s study on US “Network Propaganda” on one side and research about political propaganda on WhatsApp in the 2018's Brazilian election on the other side). Is a space for the construction of shared diagnoses among participants on how to balance diverse conceptions regarding the protection of human rights and democracy.

avatar for Fabro Steibel

Fabro Steibel

General Coordinator, IRM brazil and Executive director at ITS Rio
Fabro Steibel is the General Coordinator of ITS – Institute for Technology & Society (itsrio.org), professor of new technologies and innovation at ESPM Rio (Brazil), the Independent Researcher for the Open Government Partnership in Brazil, and the open government fellow at the Organisation... Read More →

avatar for Mariana Valente

Mariana Valente

Director, InternetLab
Director of InternetLab, where I do research around human rights and the Internet; Internet regulation; Gender and Tech; Access to knowledge and Copyright.

Friday June 14, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Oya 3 (Laico)


Do Exiled Media Have a future? A quest for building resilience and sustainability!
This session is designed to help independent exiled media find solutions to a more resilient and sustainable future. These media groups are exiled by their home country due to conflict or censorship and are forced to (re-)locate and operate from foreign countries. These media are unique in their access within the country of origin and the stories they publish addressing human rights related themes. Yet, they face many challenges. Following a meeting among representatives of 12 exiled media organizations (including, among others, media for Iran, Sudan, China, Eritrea and more) in February 2019, a set of priority issues, opportunities and threats have been identified that exiled media face. Some are specific to individual cases, others are shared across the board. Priorities identified include: - Funding and business development; - Challenges (& opportunities) of distance reporting; - Online & offline security threats; - The role of tech. Organized by representatives of several exiled media groups, we aim to analyze these priority issues and next steps moving forward in the quest of building a resilient and sustainable future for exiled media across the globe together with key stakeholders, including: government, tech companies, funders and the media development sector.

avatar for Suzanne Bakker

Suzanne Bakker

Radio Dabanga at Free Press Unlimited

avatar for Rieneke Van Santen

Rieneke Van Santen

Executive Director, Zamaneh Media
Active in the media development field. Director of an independent media for Iran and consultant in media and NGO management.

Friday June 14, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Oya 3 (Laico)


Social Media, Mis/Disinformation, and Human Rights: Messages from Nations' Elections
The presidential election in USA (2016), France (2017), Brazil (2018), and Indonesia (2019), also Jakarta gubernatorial election (2016-2017), also Brexit were the six among experiences of global community regarding misinformation-disinformation and both the immediate and longer term impact towards decision making, society-nation live, and human rights. The impact of USA presidential election even changed the pattern of RightsCon convening. Meanwhile, the time and process of the nations keep going. The stakeholders need to prepare themselves for the next elections and other public decision making event.

The session aims to help the audience to reflect the experience on nations’ decision making processes particularly the elections regarding the spreading of misinformation-disinformation through social media. The session will discuss the lessons learned and the recommendations for the stakeholders (i.e. the government, internet/social media companies, human rights defenders, scholars). We expect the speaker from Brazil, Indonesia, and Myanmar, also the internet companies’ representatives to share their reflections and recommendations. Based on speakers’ presentation, in the plenary session the participants will reflect their respective country experiences and the necessary steps to deal with the ‘dark side’ of internet impact for the society through the content, the governance, and the culture of public policy. 

avatar for Valentina Sri Wijiyati

Valentina Sri Wijiyati

Volunteer; Secretary of Presidium, Mafindo
I am volunteer and Presidium Secretary at Mafindo, Advocacy Staff at Combine Resource Institution, volunteer at Deaf Art Community, Ethical Board at Yogyakarta Chapter of Alliance of Independent Journalist (2015-2016). I share my concern on (1) Total Tobacco Advertisement Promotion... Read More →


Rosemary Ajayi

Digital Africa Research Lab
avatar for Bruna Santos

Bruna Santos

Policy and Advocacy analyst, Coding Rights
I have a BA in Law and work as a Policy and Advocacy analyst at Coding Rights, with a special focus on Data Protection, Human Rights in the Digital Age and Internet Governance. Additionally, I also hold the position of Chair of the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) at ICAN... Read More →

Friday June 14, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Biscay (Palais)