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Protecting the Information Environment during Elections in Libya

December 08, 2023 • By Emna Zghonda , Erik Asplund
View of participants at the mapping and roadmap workshop on protecting electoral processes in the information environment. Image Credit: High National Elections Commission (HNEC).
Any errors or misunderstandings in the electoral process can be swiftly magnified in the realm of social media. This situation not only raises concerns about the accuracy of information but also the potential spread of false narratives, speculation, and misinformation.

The deliberate ‘planting’ of false or exaggerated narratives for political gain or destabilization is a mounting concern. For EMBs, addressing these challenges necessitates action on multiple fronts, including improving their own delivery, enhancing communication strategies, and implementing measures to counter these narratives effectively.  

Between 21 and 24 November 2023, International IDEA in partnership with the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) organized a mapping and roadmap workshop on the topic of protecting electoral processes in the information environment. The event, which was attended by fifteen participants in Tripoli, provided an opportunity for the HNEC, the General Authority for Monitoring Media Content, the Communications and Informatics Authority, the Libyan Internet Association, the Libyan Association of Members of Judicial Bodies and representatives from digital and traditional media — such as the Libyan Foundation for Investigative Journalism, ASWAT (Voices) for Media, Akkadly platform and  Libya news newspaper —  to exchange ideas and perspectives among different stakeholders. This multilateral network, the first of its kind in Libya, is designed to safeguard the electoral process from digital threats that may compromise its credibility. Serving as a participatory platform, the network facilitates collaboration among various stakeholders.   

Topics of discussion included the information environment-related risk factors, real and perceived threats to elections, observations regarding malign practices and actors, and any protective infrastructure already in place and its effectiveness. During the discussion, many of the participants acknowledged the difficulty of keeping up with the information environment even before artificial intelligence. This will become more challenging for EMB and other stakeholders, as leaked audio recordings emerge for which authenticity is difficult to establish in light of deep fake. The workshop discussions were informed and compared with emerging global trends and best practices. The main output of the workshop includes a mapping and roadmap report that will inform the next phase of the project.  

Risk Grapgh

 Source: International IDEA, ‘Framework on Protecting Electoral Processes in the Information Environment’, 2023. 

The workshop methodology builds on an activity-based, ‘inquiry learning’ approach similar to the BRIDGE curriculum and the International IDEA context overview workshops on electoral risk management.  The next workshop is envisioned for December 2024 and will take the first steps towards a strengthened comprehension of the specificities of the electoral process in Libya within the working group members, ensuring that the developed roadmap is situated in a context that ultimately leads to action. 


This workshop is part of a project that aims to improve the protection of electoral processes by countering malign influencing practices and learning from evolving discourse and engagement in six different focus countries. 

Informed by global best practices and exchanges between partner countries, the project will enable national actors in focus countries to identify suggestions for the way forward, work towards implementing suggestions, and share lessons learned with global audiences. The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by International IDEA.  

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About the authors

Emna Zghonda
Senior Programme officer
Erik Asplund
Senior Programme Officer, Elections and Crisis
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