Initiatives vs. disinformation

In this article we have gathered several initiatives working on disinformation from different perspectives: media literacy, fact-checking, tools, and investigation projects.

The list will be regularly updated.

If you would like to suggest any other initiatives to be added on the list, feel free to reach out to us.

Last update on 05/07/2019

Fact-checking

  • Debunk.eu is an Estonian initiative that unites the media, the society, and the state to fight against disinformation. They have tools and powerful allies, but the most importantly, they have the knowledge and willingness to stop spreading lies and to defend the freedom of speech.
  • What The Fake is a French civil initiative that fights against hate speech, extremism and online manipulation. The initiative produces and disseminates campaigns to combat the extremist discourses and manipulation processes that proliferate on the internet. They intervene in three main directions: the fight against hate speech, extremism, and manipulation, especially in the face of the proliferation of “fake news” and the vitality of conspiracy theories.
  • StopFake is a journalists’ organisation whose primary goal is to verify information, raise media literacy in Ukraine, and establish a clear red line between journalism and propaganda.
  • EU vs Disinfo is run by the European External Action Service East Stratcom Task Force. The team was set up in March 2015 after the EU Heads of State stressed the need to challenge Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns.
  • First Draft is an organisation dedicated to supporting journalists, academics, and technologists working to address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age. The organisation hosts a global verification and collaborative investigation network through their CrossCheck International initiative. The team works in partnership with their expanding community to conduct innovative and experimental research projects, and continuously develop online and offline training designed to expand and embed best practices in newsrooms and journalism schools around the world.

Tools

  • WeVerify works on addressing the advanced content verification challenges through a participatory verification approach, open source algorithms, low-overhead human-in-the-loop machine learning, and intuitive visualisations. Social media and web content is analysed for the detection of disinformation and is then contextualised within the broader social web and media ecosystem. Any misleading and fabricated content is subsequently exposed as such through both micro-targeted debunking and a blockchain-based public database of known fakes.
  • GDI – The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) is an independent and neutral assessment of a domain’s risk of spreading disinformation. Every domain in a country is assessed and assigned a transparency rating.
  • Who Targets Me monitors the use of political adverts on social media. Their software helps researchers and journalists understand the use of targeted social media advertising by political campaigns. They analyse the anonymous advertising data you help to collect to explain the strategies that campaigns use to win votes.
  • Facebook Tracking Exposed is a browser that helps to increase the transparency of personalisation algorithms, so that people can have a more effective control of their online Facebook experience as well as more awareness of the information to which they are exposed.
  • AlgoTransparency is a project aiming to find out which information the YouTube algorithm shows to people. The programme simulates the behaviour of a user who starts on one video and then follows the chain of recommended videos.

Media Literacy

  • Drog is a multidisciplinary team of academics, journalists, and media-experts that conduct research, give talks, offer workshops and educational programmes, and create innovative tools that help you build resistance to disinformation. The Drog headquarters are based in The Hague. They increase the resistance to disinformation by letting people experience how disinformation works. Drog’s clients range from army generals to a classroom of primary school children.
  • Lie Detectors is an award-winning project aiming to turn European school children aged between 10-15 into powerful lie detectors and critical thinkers in a world increasingly populated by propaganda and distorted facts online, empowering them to understand news media, make informed choices, and resist peer pressure as they assemble their worldview.

Investigation

  • Bellingcat is an investigative journalism website that specialises in fact-checking and open-source intelligence (OSINT). Bellingcat publishes its findings of both professional and citizen journalist investigations into war crimes, human rights abuses, and the criminal underworld. The site’s contributors also publish guides to their techniques, as well as case studies.
  • DFR Lab is an initiative of the Atlantic Council aiming to identify, expose, and explain disinformation where and when it occurs using open source research; to promote objective truth as a foundation of government for and by people; to protect democratic institutions and norms from those who would seek to undermine them in the digital engagement space.

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