Congressman David Cicilline to attend International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’ in Dublin

Congressman David Cicilline to attend International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’ in Dublin

Democratic Congressman and influential US legislator, David Cicilline has confirmed his attendance at the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’. The meeting will take place in Dublin on November 7th.

The Grand Committee comprises of international lawmakers investigating the spend of online disinformation and ‘fake news’ by big tech companies and its influence on elections and culture.

The meeting will be the third  of the Committee which previously met in London and Ottawa. The Ottawa meeting in May of this year included representatives from Argentina, Chile, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, Ecuador, Mexico, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK and Canada.

Representatives from big tech companies Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple were also in attendance.

Chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee, Cicilline will attend as an ‘ex officio’ member of the Committee, allowing him to question witnesses. His attendance marks the first by a representative from the United States.

An invitation to attend the initial meeting of the Committee in London last November was extended to Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg failed to attend, instead sending his UK Policy Vice-President Richard Allan.

Again, declining to attend the Ottawa meeting in May, Zuckerberg sent his local and global heads of policy. Whether his attendance at the Dublin meeting will be influenced by the presence of a United States Committee member, remains to be seen.

Welcoming Congressman Cicilline’s confirmation in the line-up, Member of Irish Parliament, Deputy Hildegarde Naughton TD, Chair of the Parliamentary Communications Committee said, ”As all the major social media/tech giants were founded and are headquartered in the United States it is very welcome that Congressman Cicilline has agreed to participate. His own Committee is presently conducting investigations into Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple and so his attendance will greatly enhance our deliberations.’’

Commenting on his attendance Congressman Cicilline said, ”The Internet has also become concentrated, less open, and growingly hostile to innovation. This is a problem that transcends borders, and it requires multinational cooperation to craft solutions that foster competition and safeguard privacy online. I look forward to joining the International Grand Committee as part of its historic effort to identify problems in digital markets and chart a path forward that leads to a better online experience for everyone.’’

(Image by AS220/CreativeCommonsCC BY-NC 2.0)

Antoinette Tyrrell is a writer and journalist who started her career in print and broadcast journalism in Ireland. An English and History graduate of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, she worked for 11 years in corporate public relations for Irish Government bodies in the Foreign Direct Investment and Energy sectors.

She is the founder of GoWrite, a business writing and public relations consultancy. Her work has appeared in a range of national and international media and trade publications. She is also a traditionally published novelist of commercial fiction.

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