The American Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, spoke during an event co-organized by the US Embassy in Athens, the Atlantic Council and the well-regarded Greek think tank ”Dianeosis.”
During his speech, Ambassador Pyatt focused on the major contemporary issue that every western democracy is currently facing, namely, organized campaigns of ”fake news” and disinformation.
”Freedom of expression and freedom of speech will remain a bedrock of our democratic societies as it is one of the values that binds us together,” Pyatt noted. He added that we need to find tools that will respect that, but at the same time, will help western societies to counter disinformation campaigns organized not only by individuals or groups, but even by state actors.
Disinformation comes in many forms, but the most malicious is when disinformation is used as a tool of one state to destabilize another. Read my remarks from #DisinfoWeek w/@AtlanticCouncil, @dianeosis — next stops at @USEmbassyMadrid & @USEmbBrussels: https://t.co/pORWo8EVvp pic.twitter.com/gwoV4ntDRR
— Geoffrey Pyatt (@USAmbPyatt) March 4, 2019
During his speech, the American Ambassador demonstrated his belief that ”we can and should employ technological tools to make our democracies work better and to communicate more broadly.” He noted, however, that ”we also have to grapple with managing the ‘firehose’ of information that these tools can produce.”
In addition to the American ambassador to Greece, a range of other experts spoke at the event about the threat false information and disinformation campaigns pose to our modern democracies.
The event was part of the Atlantic Council’s event dubbed ”Disinfo Week,” which ”brings together disinformation experts and government officials for four days of presentations and discussions.”
The events began in Athens and will continue today in Madrid, with Brussels the next site of the conference, on March 6 and 7, 2019.
Founded in 1961, the Atlantic Council is an American think tank which has the field of international affairs as its main focus.