Corruption of history remains as much a weapon in the authoritarian playbook as it was before our current age of information abundance. There are no guarantees that once content is on the internet it is safe forever. Authoritarian regimes around the world are suppressing and erasing dissenting voices online, effectively rewriting history, and seeding confusion and conflict with ‘alternative facts’ - enabled by Big Tech. In an era of mass-produced AI content, the provenance of legitimate information is becoming increasingly critical; we dare not leave this process solely in the hands of unaccountable AI companies or authoritarian regimes.

This panel will showcase how media outlets around the world are using archives to protect and futureproof information – a bedrock of media freedom. We will discuss examples of how to archive safely, affordably and accessibly, explore how archives can be put to work in service of storytelling, trust-building and business sustainability, and how technologies like blockchain can be used to safeguard information in highly censored environments.

Panellists will share how they are working to protect, preserve and (re)publish information that enables them to build an accurate record and hold power to account. In countries where public information is already at risk, rare or even non-existent, this may be all that stands against efforts to rewrite history, manufacture enemies, and seed conflict.

Moderated by Mary Fitzgerald.