Sangeeta Mahapatra / Andreas Ufen / Janjira Sombatpoonsiri

Capacity-Building Workshop on Anti-Fake News Lawfare, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 3 June 2024

Lecture | 03/06/2024

  • Key Visual of the Bangladesh Workshop 03 June 2024

    On 3 June 2024, GIGA researchers PD Dr. Andreas Ufen, Dr. Sangeeta Mahapatra, and Dr. Janjira Sombatpoonsiri organized a hybrid capacity-building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, together with our local partner Digitally Right Limited.

    Of the 24 participants, 12 were present in Dhaka and 12 joined online from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The participants were lawyers, journalists, fact-checkers, representatives of digital rights organisations, and researchers.

    The interactive sessions focused on knowledge sharing, discussions on cross-regional trends and collaboration, and strategies for countering anti-fake news lawfare.


    Capacity-Building Workshop on Anti-Fake News Lawfare


    Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dhaka

    GIGA Talk | 06/12/2023

    GIGA Talk: Weaponising Fake News Laws. Autocratic Use of Disinformation Laws Against Civil Society in South and Southeast Asia

    Weaponising Fake News Laws, GIGA Berlin Büro, and online event, Berlin Organisers: German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) PD Dr. Andreas Ufen (Consultant)

    This talk presents the latest findings from our research on governments’ use of fake news laws as a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) tactic. This trend has accompanied autocratisation in places such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Thailand. In these countries, governments have ridden the global wave of countering disinformation, exploiting existing information laws or passing new ones to censor and criminalise civil society while seeking to control the flow of information digitally. Together with other draconian laws and tools of digital repression such as surveillance and online smear campaigns, fake news laws increase the costs of public participation that could help keep the executive in check. Facing multiple charges, dissidents and journalists are compelled to fight endless court cases, depleting their energy and limited financial resources as well as being a time sink, further to enduring the detrimental psychological effects of this misuse of legal powers. This talk unpacks these mechanisms and proposes counter-responses to weaponising fake news laws.


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