Disinfo Update 24/06/2019

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Time to draw some conclusions

The outgoing Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union concluded in a document published ahead of the European Council summit last week that tackling disinformation across the EU “varies greatly across member states”. The Romanian presidency reached this conclusion after having conducted a mapping exercise in all member states. For future action, the report recommends to set up a permanent horizontal working party of the Council of the EU. In their conclusions, the European heads of states also highlighted the necessity to cooperate with relevant international actors.
This comes after European institutions recognised sustained disinformation activities in the context of the European Elections. You can read here our full summary of the actions undertaken by the European Union against disinformation.

“Secondary Infektion”

Last month, Facebook announced it had taken down nearly a hundred pages and accounts involved in coordinated authentic behavior, suspectedly originating from Russia. Working on these accounts, DFR Lab identified a much larger network operating across platforms and languages. The technique “consists of planting false stories on the far reaches of the internet before amplifying them with Facebook accounts run from Russia”. According to the researchers, the operation stood out for its attention to operational security. But this devotion to secrecy meant that almost all of the operation’s articles failed to penetrate. CNN reported on a fake tweet purportedly sent by Sen. Marco Rubio as part of this campaign.

Facebook’s Libra 

Libra, the new cryptocurrency initiative of Facebook, has raised a lot of questions and polemics around the market power that it would give to the company.  Already under regulatory pressure for possible privacy violation and its inability to stop the spread of disinformation on its platforms, the company is likely to face a regulatory backlash. The European Central Bank is to publish a report in the coming months, and the company’s officials have been called to testify in front of the US Senate.

Library

Calendar and announcements  

  • 25 June @ Brussels, European Parliament: #MEDIA4DEMOCRACY: Strategy for media ecosystem 2019-2024, with ‘Democracy Commissioner’ and ‘MEP media intergroup.‘

HR

  • Digital Action is hiring a full-time Project Lead, starting as soon as possible. Applicants have until 27/06.