X Central Asian Internet Forum “Development of the Internet in Central Asia – InternetCA-2019» takes place on 30-31 May in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The theme of the anniversary forum is Digital Literacy: Competences, Safety, Consumption.
Given the dominant influence of the role of the states in the formation of media content in Central Asia, freedom of speech moves to social networks and instant messengers, where citizens compensate for its absence in traditional media. However, this seriously affects the quality of media consumption, increases the amount of disinformation and its retransmission. Citizens received a limited space to realize their right to freedom of speech, but they do not always know how to use it, so disseminate often unverified or illegal, provocative information.
According to the results of the research, in Kazakhstan 70% of people aged 18 to 55 years old use social networks with different degree of activity. In Kyrgyzstan users of social networks are almost 60% of the urban population.
This is what determined the choice of the main themes of the Forum: freedom of press in the digital age, media trends, challenges and threats to the media; counteracting disinformation, propaganda, xenophobia and hate speech; media literacy and digital security; the role of media in informing and influencing the audience during election campaigns.
Thomas Helm, Director of Konrad Adenauer Foundation Office in Nur-Sultan: “Media competence is one of the core competences of our time and has almost the same value as reading, writing and arithmetic. It is important that there is non-discriminatory access to digital media. When I speak of almost equal importance, however, I also mean that digital, electronic and print media must coexist. All media have their strengths and are indispensable for balanced reporting and a free exchange of opinions.”
The speakers of the anniversary Forum are experts from Kazakhstan, Germany, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Singapore, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The participants of the event are journalists, bloggers, researchers, representatives of government agencies, international organizations, NGOs, lawyers, diplomats and others.
In 2010 (the year of the first InternetCA Forum), the number of Internet users in Kazakhstan was 4.3 million people or 27% of the population of the Republic. At the end of 2018, the number of Internet users increased almost three times – 81% which is more than 14 million people.
Over 10 years of the InternetCA Forum, almost 2,000 people have become its participants. During this time, experts from 20 countries conducted more than three hundred speeches, presentations and master classes on topical issues of the global network.
Diana Digol, Deputy Head of the OSCE Office in Nur-Sultan: “The Internet creates new opportunities for lightning-fast delivery of information to the public, creating a huge field for self-expression of the clever and talented! At the same time, the Internet also poses serious security challenges and creates threats to freedom of expression and freedom of speech. In this context, it is very important to know about the mechanisms of legal regulation and self-regulation of mass media and their equivalents on the Internet.”
The forum is traditionally held by MediaNet International Centre for Journalism in partnership and with the support of OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan and Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
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The Regional Central Asian Internet Forum on Development of the Internet in Central Asia InternetCA
In 2019 the annual Central Asian Internet Forum on Development of the Internet in Central Asia InternetCA will take place for the eighth time. The Forum regularly gathers high-quality expert audience. The event is organized by MediaNet International Center for Journalism under support of Konrad Adenauer Foundation and OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan.
Among the Forum speakers are experts from Western Europe, Russia, Ukraine and five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) who evaluates situation with the Internet sphere in the region, development prospects, defines problematic points and offer constrictive solutions.
Every year the organizers select key discussion topics, such as Internet security, internet management and etc.
The main theme of InternetCA-2019 is Digital Literacy: Competence, Security, Consumption
During its ten-year of operation, the Forum hosted near 1 500 of experts, representatives of public, international and government organizations, journalists, bloggers, scientists, parliament members, diplomats, lawyers and etc. from Germany, France, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and many others.
In InternetCA the participants first of all discuss legal, political and social issues related to development of the Internet.
The Forum is conducted in Kazakh, Russian and English languages, simultaneous interpreter is provided.