Find out how the European Commission is tackling false information, Source: Pixabay

5 European projects that seek to destroy disinformation

5 European projects that seek to destroy disinformation

Exploring innovative European media literacy projects and their progress so far

In an era where information travels at lightning speed, the threat of disinformation and fake news has grown to unprecedented levels. Recognizing the potential damage it can cause to societies, the European Commission (EC) has taken proactive measures to counter the spread of disinformation. Here are five noteworthy European projects that tackle this pressing issue.

Even though most were recently initiated they already show concrete results. Some of these are in the form of practical tools that you can use to raise the level of your media literacy. VERification Assisted by Artificial Intelligence (2022-2025)

In the battle against disinformation, technology plays a pivotal role., a European project, harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and counter false info. By analyzing patterns and sources of disinformation, aims to provide real-time insights and assist fact-checkers in their endeavours.

Results: Within the first year of the project, partners have made good progress with research on analysing images, videos and audio signals to detect whether they have been manipulated. Novel methods have been identified to assist professionals with assessing the truthfulness of textual content through automatic detection of the so-called "credibility signals". Researchers in social sciences and AI have explored state-of-the-art approaches to detect coordinated sharing behaviour and to track the ways disinformation spreads. also plays a pivotal role in the advancement of both the InVID-WeVerify verification plugin and the DBKF. The InVID-WeVerify verification plugin is designed as a versatile tool, likened to a 'Swiss army knife,' for the empowerment of journalists, fact-checkers, and human rights defenders. Its purpose is to optimize and expedite their fact-checking and debunking tasks, especially when handling the verification of videos and images on social networks.

The Database of Known Fakes (DBKF) is akin to a library filled with information that helps verify if something (news, video or image) has already been fact-checked and proven as true or fake. This one is really helpful for professionals in the media sphere.

The library has information in different languages, so it's useful for many people around the world.

EDMO: European Digital Media Observatory - National and multinational hubs (2019-2024)

EDMO was established to provide assistance to a diverse group of experts, who seek to address the issue of false information. EDMO comprises teams in various countries that partner to combat online misinformation within the EU. Each team involves organizations from one or more countries.

They have expertise in tasks, such as identifying and comprehending false information, enhancing public awareness, and formulating appropriate responses tailored to their respective countries.

Result: Numerous reports highlight the achievements of the regional hubs, both collectively and within individual EU countries. In addition, EDMO will deploy a platform to support the work of a multidisciplinary community with expertise in the field of online disinformation.

This will contribute to a deeper understanding of the disinfo ecosystem - relevant actors, vectors, tools, methods, dissemination dynamics, targets, and its impact on society.

BROD: Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory of Digital Media (2022-2025)

The battle against disinformation is a collaborative effort that extends beyond national borders. The BROD project is crucial in a region with limited media freedom and citizen media literacy, such as Bulgaria and Rоmаnia. The hub aims to uncover harmful false narratives and their impact on societies and democracy across countries, cultures, and languages.

Result: The project is in its initial phase, yet its website has already gathered fact-checking articles produced by partner news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Bulgarian and Romanian, as well as such from the Factual platform, created by the Romanian NGO Funky Citizens. Soon to come – similar materials from the Bulgarian national television BNT, which recently launched a fact-checking service.

Media literacy partners are actively preparing educational materials and conducting teacher trainings, while researchers are setting up the methodological framework to study disinformation narratives that have the highest impact in the region. 

European Fact-checking Standards Project

The European Fact-Checking Standards Network Project (EFCSN) aims to unite independent fact-checking organizations. Its purpose is to facilitate discussions and establish clear standards of independence, transparency, and methodological and journalistic excellence. These standards will serve as guiding principles in our collective endeavour to combat disinformation.

Result: The efforts of the project have resulted in the creation of a Code of Professional Integrity for European fact-checkers, which has gained approval from 44 European organizations. This Code holds the necessary legitimacy for recognition and implementation. As a community, in the coming months, EFCSN will establish a Governance Body to assess adherence to the Code and assist organizations in this process.

VIGILANT: Vital IntelliGence to Investigate ILlegAl DisiNformaTion (2022-2025)

The VIGILANT project is constructing a comprehensive platform that integrates advanced tools for identifying and analyzing disinformation. This platform is customized to suit the specific requirements of Police Authorities (PAs) using an approach that emphasizes ethics and user-centred design.

The task of identifying, tracking, and investigating online disinformation and other problematic content has become exceedingly complex. Many Police Authorities in Europe lack specialized tools or technologies to combat disinformation effectively.

Result: The project sets up a European network where officers can share their expertise and insights, promoting a cohesive European approach. Collaboratively, stakeholders aim to tackle this challenge by providing solutions that can identify and analyze disinformation across significant sources like major social media platforms and fake news websites. These solutions encompass different content types such as text, images, and videos in multiple languages.

The project is a collaborative endeavour involving experts from various domains including social sciences, ethics, computer science, business, and five European Police Authorities.

As these projects continue to evolve and expand, their impact is likely to ripple across societies, fostering a more informed and discerning public.

By dismantling the foundations of disinformation, Europe is taking a bold step toward safeguarding its information landscape and upholding the values of accuracy, transparency, and pluralism.

This article is part of Read Twice – an EU-funded project, coordinated by Euro Advance Association that targets young people and aims to counter disinformation and fake news by enhancing their skills to assess critically information, identify vicious and harmful media content and distinguish between facts and opinions, thus improving their media literacy competences.

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of its author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union nor of TheMayor.EU.



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