A sign form a Fridays for Future March in Bonn, 19 March 2021, Source: Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

European Commission expands anti-disinformation hubs to cover the EU

European Commission expands anti-disinformation hubs to cover the EU

The EDMO hubs work to connect fact-checkers, academia and the media, as well as boost local media literacy

Today, the European Commission announced that it will expand funding for centres fighting against disinformation, part of EDMO (European Digital Media Observatory). Currently, the observatory operates eight centres throughout the EU – in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Italy, as well as Czechia and Slovakia.

The proposal highlights six new centres, which will get around 8 million euros of funding from the Digital Europe Programme.  The hubs will operate in Croatia and Slovenia; Latvia and Lithuania; Germany and Austria; Hungary; Greece, Cyprus and Malta; Bulgaria and Romania.

The facilities will become part of EDMO, an independent platform for fact-checkers, academic researchers and other relevant stakeholders contributing to the fight against false information in Europe. According to official sources, these hubs are set to start operation in 2023.

They are supposed to empower academics and fact-checkers to collaborate with each other and media organisations to provide support for policymakers.

EDMO’s five pillars against disinformation

Here is a list of what the European Digital Media Observatory does to actively push back against false information:

  1. Mapping fact-checking organisations in Europe and providing support through joint cross-border activities. The internet is stateless, so organisations need to look beyond domestic markets;
  2. Mapping, supporting and coordinating the research activities on disinformation at the European level, including regular updates of a global repository of peer-reviewed scientific articles on disinformation;
  3. Building a public portal that gives media professionals, teachers and citizens information aimed at increasing awareness and resilience to online disinformation, as well as supporting media literacy campaigns;
  4. Designing a framework to ensure secure and private access to data for academic researchers working to better understand disinformation;
  5. Supporting public authorities monitoring policies put in place by online platforms to limit the spread and the impact of disinformation.

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová was quoted in an official statement, explaining that transparency, awareness and fact-checking are the most important tools against disinformation. Additionally, she pointed out that the results of these initiatives need to be efficient and visible to every European, justifying the expansion of the programme.

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.



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