Disinfo Update 15/04/2019

Our weekly newsletter on disinformation issues.

You wish to receive this by email? Subscribe here.

On May 28-29 in Brussels, join the community working against disinformation: case studies, civil society initiatives and tools will be presented. Pre-registrations for EU Disinfolab conference are open. Take a look at the updated agenda.

Pre-register to EU DisinfoLab conference

They don’t stop to intervene

Recently, media channels have reported numerous cases when foreign entities have tried to influence internal policies in the context of elections. For instance, Alyza Sebenius has revealed how Russian internet trolls appear to be shifting strategy in their efforts to disrupt the 2020 U.S. elections or influence the upcoming elections in Finland. In the context of the presidential elections in Israel, Twitter has also suspended dozens of Hebrew-language accounts run by a strange Chinese religious sect. Even though the Communications Security Establishment’s Report did not refer to any specific threat from Russia, Foreign Minister of Canada has recently expressed her concerns about possible Russian meddling in this October’s elections. Lastly, a BBC investigation has revealed that at least six candidates were offered money by Russians in the lead up to last year’s presidential elections in Madagascar.

UK news

While negotiating the new Brexit deadline which is now set for Halloween 2019, the UK Government Communication Service has published guidance for government departments to tackle disinformation. Nowadays, governments communications troops need to be well equipped for battle in the escalating disinformation war. After the UK government has released the Online Harms White Paper last week, The Guardian has published a critical opinion of six civil liberties organisations’ representatives explaining how the UK White paper would make China’s state censors proud and would give the UK the widest and most prolific internet censorship in an apparently functional democracy.

You can be better, better 

Facebook is taking actions to manage problematic content across the Facebook family of apps. The platform has also announced sweeping changes to its anti-misinformation policies. This includes reducing the reach of groups that repeatedly spread misinformation, exploring the use of crowdsourcing to determine which news outlets users trust most and adding new indicators to Messenger, groups and News Feed to inform users about the content they’re seeing. Meanwhile, in his recent article, Henk van Ess from Bellingcat explains how you can verify content on Instagram using 10 specific tools.

EU elections news and fact checks of the week

Library

Calendar and announcements 

See all past and upcoming events in our agenda