100 researchers are calling all relevant stakeholders to cooperate with the Observatory on Information and Democracy, an IPCC-like entity for the information and communication space. 

Over the last two decades, private companies have taken a growing importance in the structuration of the information and communication space. In the absence of guardrails and shared principles across the democratic world, these companies have been able to spill their services with no accountability to democratic institutions. This void has dramatically harmed the public debate and democracy globally.

As for any common good of humankind, a multilateral effort is needed to preserve the information and communication, as outlined in the Declaration on Information and Democracy in 2018. This effort should be based on a shared and common understanding of the structure of this space and how it impacts democracy. 

To that end, we, the undersigned researchers, commend the work of the Forum on Information and Democracy to establish an IPCC-like entity for the information space, the Observatory on Information and Democracy. The Observatory will publish periodic evaluation reports based on all available research and data. 

This Observatory will enable more constructed, consistent and regular dialogue between the research community and policy makers. As a research – policy interface, the Observatory is a convening space for such exchanges and will lead to research conducted throughout the world being translated into timely and pertinent public policies. It will be a useful tool for the scientific community by strengthening its visibility at national and international levels. 

The evaluation reports of the Observatory should not only evaluate what we know, but also what we don’t know. We see the Observatory as a catalyser to push for more access to data from platforms. Our understanding of how these tech companies operate and impact our public space is limited by their unwillingness to give access to crucial data.

We call on democratic countries, tech companies, the research community and civil society to cooperate with the Observatory on Information and Democracy. This decade is crucial for affirming that technology should live in the house of democracy and not the other way around.


List of signatories 

  1. Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, Cross-Disciplinary Fellow and Director, Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub (United States)
  2. Serge Abiteboul, Researcher at the French Research Institute on Artificial Intelligence INRIA (France)
  3. Jais Adam-Troian, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Canadian University of Dubai, (United Arab Emirates)
  4. Anne Alombert, Professor in philosophy, University of Paris 8, member of the Conseil National du Numérique (France) 
  5. Sacha Altay, Post-doctoral researcher, University of Zurich (Switzerland)
  6. Romain Badouard, Professor at the French Press Institute, University of Paris-Panthéon-Assas (France)
  7. Christine Balagué, Professor, Mines-Télécom Institute Business School, Founder of the research network Good in Tech (France)
  8. Paul Barrett, Senior research scholar and deputy director, NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights (United States)
  9. Nouha Belaid, Researcher at the Central University of Tunis (Tunisia)
  10. Emily Bell, Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School (United States) 
  11. Fabrício Benevenuto, Associate Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) 
  12. Pri Bengani, Senior Research Fellow, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University (United States)
  13. Boukary Bogré, Journalist and project supervisor, NDH-Burkina (Burkina Faso)
  14. Gérald Bronner, Professor at Sorbonne University, Member of the national Academy of Medicine and Member of the Academy of Technologies (France)
  15. Taina Bucher, Professor at the University of Oslo (Norway)
  16. Julia Cagé, Associate Professor of Economics, Sciences Po Paris, Research affiliate, Center for Economic and Policy Research/CEPR and Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies/LIEPP (France)
  17. Gustavo Cardoso, Professor of Media and Sociology, ISCTE-IUL (Portugal)
  18. Lucien Castex, Researcher, Sorbonne Nouvelle University (France)
  19. Raja Chatila, emeritus professor at Sorbonne Université, Paris (France)
  20. David Chavalarias, researcher at CNRS and director of Institut des Systèmes Complexes (France)
  21. Yi-Ning Katherine Chen, Dean and Distinguished Professor, College of Communication, National Chengchi University (Taiwan) 
  22. Julie E. Cohen, Mark Claster Mamolen Professor of Law and Technology, Georgetown Law (United States)
  23. Laurent Cordonier, Ph.D, research Director of the Descartes Foundation, Paris (France) 
  24. Jean-Louis Corréa, Professor at the digital  University Cheikh Hamidou Kane (ex-UVS) (Sénégal) 
  25. Nick Couldry, Professor of Media, Communications and Social theory, London School of Economics (United Kingdom)
  26. Fabrice d’Almeida, Vice-President of Paris-Pantheon-Assas University (France) 
  27. Primavera De Filippi, Research director CERSA-CNRS and Faculty Associate, Berkman-Klein Center, Harvard University (France & United States)
  28. Olivier de Frouville, Professor at Paris-Panthéon-Assas University, Director of the CRDH/Paris Human Rights Center (France)
  29. Giovanni De Gregorio, PLMJ Chair in Law and Technology, Católica Global School of Law, Lisbon (Portugal)
  30. Cécile Dolbeau-Bandin, Lecturer in Information and Communication Sciences, Fellow of the UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Media Practices, University of Strasbourg (France)
  31. Marius Dragomir, Founding Director, Media and Journalism Research Center (Spain)
  32. Flavia Durach, PhD in communication sciences, Associate professor and  researcher on online disinformation (Romania)
  33. Kamel El Hilali, Doctor of Law, Paris Panthéon Assas University and Affiliated Fellow, Yale Information Society Project (France & United States)
  34. Terry Flew, Professor of Digital Communication and Culture, The University of Sydney (Australia)
  35. Divina Frau-Meigs, Professor, Sorbonne nouvelle University, Chair UNESCO Savoir Devenir à l’ère du Développement numérique durable, world specialist in Media and Information Literacy and international expert in the fight against misinformation (France)
  36. Pascal Froissart, Professor in communication, CELSA Sorbonne University (France) 
  37. Jean-Gabriel Ganascia, Professor at Sorbonne University, Director of the ACASA team at LIP6, Essayist (France)
  38. Kiran Garimella, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University (United States)
  39. Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford & Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University (United Kingdom & United States)
  40. Martin Gibert, Researcher on AI ethics, University of Montreal, (Canada)
  41. Charles Girard, Professor of philosophy, Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 (France)
  42. Arthur Grimonpont, Engineer and essayist (France)
  43. Sadok Hammami, Higher Education Professor, IPSI, University of Manouba (Tunisia)
  44. Rahaf Harfoush, Executive Director, Red Thread Institute of Digital Culture & Digital Anthropologist (Canada)
  45. Pavel Havlicek, Research Fellow at the AMO Research Centre (Czech Republic) 
  46. Ann Hollifield, Author & Consultant, News Media Viability, Professor Emerita, University of Georgia (United States)
  47. Bernd Holznagel, Professor of Law at the University of Muenster, Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law (Germany)
  48. Minna Aslama Horowitz, Docent, University of Helsinki (Finland)
  49. Philip N. Howard, Balliol College, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
  50. Kwame Karikari, retired Professor of journalism at the department of communication studies, University of Ghana & founder and former Executive Director of the press freedom advocacy organization Media Foundation for West Africa (Ghana)
  51. Matthias C. Ketteman, Professor of Innovation Law, Head of the Department for Theory and Future of Law, University of Innsbruck (Austria) 
  52. Mehdi Khamassi, research Director in cognitive sciences at the National Center for Scientific Research, Member of the Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics at Sorbonne University (France) 
  53. Arne H. Krumsvik, Professor of Media and Communication, Kristiania University College, and Adjunct Professor of Journalism, Volda University College (Norway)
  54. Horacio Larreguy, Associate Professor of Economics and Political Science, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (Mexico)
  55. Ariun Lkhagvasuren, Associate professor, Ph.D, Lecturer in Journalism at the University of the Humanities (Mongolia)
  56. Théophile Lenoir, PHD candidate at the University of Milan and associate Researcher at Sciences Po Media Lab (Italy & France)
  57. Odanga Madung, Elections & Platform Integrity Researcher (Kenya)
  58. Wenceslas Mahoussi, Doctor in Information and Communication Sciences, Director of the Observatory on ICS-ObSIC (Benin)
  59. Ioana Manolescu, research Director at INRIA, lecturer at Ecole polytechnique (France) 
  60. Enguerrand Marique, Lecturer in digital law and information and communication law, Radboud Universiteit (Netherlands), Université Saint-Louis, Brussels and UCLouvain (Belgium)
  61. Shannon McGregor, Senior Researcher, Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life and Assistant Professor, Hussman School of Journalism & Media, both at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (United States)
  62. Arnaud Mercier, Professor in Communication, Paris-Panthéon-Assas University (France)
  63. Asma Mhalla, Specialist in digital policy issues (France)
  64. Sally Broughton Micova, Associate Professor of Communications Policy and Politics, University of East Anglia (United-Kingdom)
  65. Jozef Michal Mintal, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations, and Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Democracy, Matej Bel University (Slovakia)
  66. Martin Moore, Senior Lecturer in Political Communication Education and Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, King’s College London (United Kingdom) 
  67. Jun Murai, Distinguished Professor, Keio University (Japan)
  68. Riku Neuvonen, LL.D., Senior university Lecturer (Finland)
  69. Lê Nguyên Hoang, Researcher in machine learning security at Calicarpa and Tournesol, former Researcher at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) (Switzerland) 
  70. Hannu Nieminen, Professor Emeritus of Media and Communications Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki (Finland) 
  71. Onora O’Neill, Professor of philosophy, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  72. Elizabeth Orembo, Research Fellow at Research ICT Africa (Kenya) 
  73. Aviv Ovadya, Researcher & responsible technology consultant, affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center (RSM, Harvard), Boston (United States)
  74. Pier Luigi Parcu, Director, Centre for a Digital Society and Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, European University Institute (Italy)
  75. Angela Phillips, Professor Emeritus, Goldsmiths, University of London (United Kingdom)
  76. Patrick Poon, Visiting Researcher, Meiji University (Japan)
  77. Julie Posetti, Senior Researcher, Centre for Freedom of the Media, University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
  78. Courtney Radsch, fellow at Institute for Technology UCLA and at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) (United States) 
  79. Damian Radcliffe, Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism, University of Oregon (United States)
  80. Trisha Ray, Researcher on emerging tech and geopolitics (India)
  81. Richard Rogers, Professor of New Media & Digital Culture, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  82. Juliette Roussin, Assistant Professor of political philosophy, Université Laval, (Canada)
  83. Krisztina Rozgonyi, Senior Scientist, Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies (CMC), Austrian Academy of Sciences (Austria) 
  84. Georges Sadaka, former Dean of the Faculty of Journalism, Lebanese University in Beirut (Lebanon)
  85. Marietje Schaake, Stanford Cyber Policy Center (United States) 
  86. Anya Schiffrin, Director, Technology, Media, and Communications (TMaC), Columbia University (United States)
  87. Martin Scott, Associate Professor in Media and Global Development, University of East Anglia – UEA (United Kingdom)
  88. Sonja Solomun, Deputy Director, Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy at McGill University (Canada)
  89. Nicolas Suzor, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
  90. Damian Tambini, Distinguished Policy Fellow, Associate Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom)
  91. Pierre-Henri Tavoillot, Philosopher, Sorbonne University (France)
  92. Unursaikhan Tugj,  Associate Professor, Lecturer in Journalism at the National University (Mongolia)
  93. Heidi Tworek, Canada Research Chair (Tier II), Associate Professor, and Director, Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)
  94. Elpida Tzafestas, Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, (Greece)
  95. José van Dijck, Professor of Media and Digital society, Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
  96. Joris van Hoboken, Associate Professor of Law, University of Amsterdam; Professor of Law, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) 
  97. Oscar Villemaud, PHD, EPFL (Switzerland)
  98. Karim Wally, Doctor in Information and Communication Sciences, university lecturer and researcher in journalism (Ivory Coast)
  99. Dwayne Winseck, Professor, Communication and Media Studies, School of Journalism and Communication and Director of the Global Media & Internet Concentration Project, Carleton University, Ottawa, (Canada)
  100. Benson Wong, Former assistant professor, Department of Government and International Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University (Hong Kong)
  101. Maria Bou Zeid, Interim Dean, Faculty of Humanities at Notre Dame University Louaize – NDU (Lebanon)
  102. Nicolo Zingales, Professor of Information Law & Regulation, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil)
  103. Célia Zolynski, Law professor, co-director of the research department DreDIS – IRJS, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University
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