A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 188 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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We Are Hooked: Facing the Facts about Social Media
4 September 2021
15:00—16:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Content creators should assume primary responsibility for what they post online

I endeavour to convey accurate information which would make neither me feel ashamed, nor my family. This is information which has some enlightening and informative element to it, with the aim of development, rather than degradation — Bogdan Bulychev, YouTube and Instagram Blogger; Author, About Travel Channel (@bogdee).

It’s essential to always use your head, think about responsibility, and remember that money is not the key to happiness. It’s essential to protect your name and reputation, because in any case you may not be earning money immediately. But in five to ten years, you could be raking in millions, but it’ll be difficult to restore your reputation later — Alexander Zarubin, Instagram Blogger (@sashka_stone), Athlete, and Musician.

Content-hosting platforms must also play a role in regulating what gets published on them

Regulation needs to be left to the platforms we post to. They exert so much pressure – and control for that matter. <...> We need to be very careful, otherwise we will become regulated media outlets – the entire blogging segment will be eradicated at the root, and we’ll just be someone else’s media outlet — Bogdan Bulychev, YouTube and Instagram Blogger; Author, About Travel Channel (@bogdee).

Our main mission is to ensure that users of our platform enjoy as safe an experience as possible. Long ago, we put a system in place to label content that was inappropriate for minors. Nevertheless, we have also long been moderating everything that is uploaded onto our platform. We filter and view content, and remove any of it that contravenes Russian law or which is otherwise unsuitable for publication — Konstantin Sidorkov, Director of Music Projects Development, Mail.Ru Group.

ISSUES
Algorithms used by platforms to offer content that their users will find most interesting are creating echo chambers which could potentially be full of misleading content

Throughout the epidemic, we fought and continue to fight against fake content. We can see that in the post-truth era, these mechanisms have become fertile ground for spreading misinformation. Whereas in the past fake stories had a somewhat comic air to them, <...> when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, fake stories were suddenly a threat to people’s health and lives — Timofey Vi, Project Manager, Dialogue Autonomous Nonprofit Organization.

What threats exist, primarily for people in their formative years who have yet to fully develop their critical thinking skills? What threats do destructive phenomena carry in terms of information and ideological safety? They are, as a matter of fact, enormous. The risk is that we will be left with a cohort of young people unable to filter the content they receive. Ultimately, people are falling under the all-seeing eye of the algorithms employed by digital platforms, and are falling into so-called echo chambers from which some people are unable to escape, due to their age and lack of fully developed critical thinking skills — Dmitry Gulyaev, Youth Digital Ombudsman.

Vulnerable audiences on internet platforms are not protected from “bad” content

Today, it’s very on-topic to talk about how parents need to look out for their children, completely wall them off, explain everything to them, and so on. But you all remember how you were when you were young – you listened to your parents, then went out to see your friends, where you were in a different environment, a different atmosphere. That’s the place where the younger generation could come across information and things which are not necessarily what’s good for them — Alexander Zarubin, Instagram Blogger (@sashka_stone), Athlete, and Musician.

SOLUTIONS
Regulation is required, regardless of whether the responsibility falls on the platforms themselves, or on the government

Regulation is already in place <...> Any content – even the most viral, even the most insignificant – is bound by certain conditions. We are not bound by media law, but we are bound by criminal and administrative codes, and can be easily regulated by these. Platforms have their rules in place, their restrictions, and are within their rights to impose them. And as bloggers, we accept their rules of the game. Of course, they consult with us – something which I am very grateful for. All in all, this regulation is more than sufficient, although it is worth working on further, because content is constantly evolving one way or another. But there must be no regulation from the government — Bogdan Bulychev, YouTube and Instagram Blogger; Author, About Travel Channel (@bogdee).

It seems to me that there needs to be some kind of organization to monitor content. <...> A huge amount of content has appeared, along with an enormous number of bloggers, and it’s vital to get more people involved in viewing videos and differentiating high-quality content from content which should absolutely not be put out to the masses — Alexander Zarubin, Instagram Blogger (@sashka_stone), Athlete, and Musician.

I would not object to there being state regulators <...> or professional communities or bloggers’ associations of some kind – it doesn’t matter. What matters most of all is that all these task forces find common ground — Yulia Mihaleva, Deputy Director, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

Vulnerable users must be taught internet safety

Strange though it may sound, one of the most effective ways to tackle it [ideological safety online – ed.] is through enlightenment. If a youngster is aware what networks a malicious user is preparing for him, and the methods that are used (special methods are employed to recruit people to terrorist and extremist organizations), then he will be able to protect himself accordingly — Dmitry Gulyaev, Youth Digital Ombudsman.