Dear Disinfo Update readers,

Welcome to this edition of our newsletter – get ready to explore!

First, THE news we’ve all ardently awaited since last October: Registration for #Disinfo2024 is now open! Mark your calendars for 9-10 October 2024 and request your ticket for our annual conference by clicking the blue button below ⬇️

We also have exciting news to share from the climate disinformation front: Climate Clarity, your new go-to hub dedicated to empowering the community in countering climate disinformation, is live. Diving into a wealth of knowledge, from the latest research to best practices, Climate Clarity is committed to fostering understanding, collaboration, and action. Welcome to the frontline of clarity and action for a sustainable future!

And last but not least, we’re delighted to welcome a new member to our Brussels team: Inès Gentil. As our new Project Officer, she will be in charge of coordinating EU DisinfoLab activities for various projects, such as ATHENA, EDMO BELUX and Before joining the EU DisinfoLab, Inès worked as a graduate consultant in strategic communications and EU/UK public affairs at Fourtold in London, UK. Previously, she interned at the United Nations Democracy Fund, the French Ministry of Defense and in the Public Diplomacy section of the US Embassy in Paris. We are thrilled about the fresh insights and promising capabilities Ines brings with her. Let’s give her a hearty and warm welcome!

Scroll away, more news and insights below!

Our webinars

Upcoming – register now!
Past – watch the recordings!
  • Why do we need Unique Media Identifiers? This webinar discussed ‘Unique Media ldentifiers’: Why are they needed? What can they look like? What are the possible use cases and risks?
  • Digital Services Act Coordinators 101. This webinar with Julian Jaursch from Stiftung Neue Verantwortung equipped us with the essentials of the role of Digital Services Coordinators in enforcing the DSA.

Disinfo news & updates

  • SLAPP on Elon’s face. A federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit filed by X (formerly Twitter) against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) following their report that the platform had failed to act on the majority of hateful content on the site since Elon Musk’s takeover. The judge ruled that the lawsuit was a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP), aiming to stifle free speech. The outcome of the case sends a strong message against attempts to silence independent research and criticism​.
  • CrowdTangle matters. In an effort to combat election disinformation, the EU DisinfoLab, alongside the Mozilla Foundation and over 100 other groups, have signed an open letter urging Meta to reverse its decision to discontinue CrowdTangle. This vital tool for researchers to monitor the spread of disinformation on social media platforms is scheduled to be shut down in August 2024, ahead of major elections globally. The discontinuation of CrowdTangle could significantly hinder efforts to counteract false narratives during this critical election year.
  • CrowdTangle & DSA. Meta’s discontinuation of CrowdTangle emphasises the challenge of maintaining transparency and combating misinformation online. This article published by Techpolicy underscores the importance of the Digital Services Act (DSA) in ensuring data accessibility for research, contingent on rigorous implementation and platform collaboration.
  • Project Ghostbusters. Facebook secretly tracked Snapchat traffic to analyse user behaviour, also extending to Amazon and YouTube. This was discovered through court documents from a lawsuit against Meta, raising privacy and ethical issues.
  • Birth control misinformation. A troubling rise in the abandonment of birth control methods is being driven by online misinformation, disproportionately affecting women of colour. Influencers and conservative commentators, often without medical credentials, are spreading unverified claims about birth control on social media platforms.
  • Airline greenwashing. In a recent decision, the District Court of Amsterdam declared that the Dutch airline KLM’s marketing, which portrayed air travel as sustainable, is misleading. The judgement establishes a precedent that superficial commitments to climate goals are illegal under EU consumer law.
  • Kept in the dark & fed on BS. DFRLab’s latest investigation reveals a network of over a hundred Facebook assets, including pages, groups, and accounts, used to amplify a cluster of Bulgarian “mushroom websites” often disseminating pro-Kremlin propaganda and misleading content, including false claims regarding the recent Dragon 24 military exercises in Poland, falsely implying NATO’s readiness for war with Russia.
  • Russian influence in the EU. The European Parliament is investigating claims that some of its members were allegedly paid by a Russian propaganda network. Given the proximity of the forthcoming EU elections, the case raises concerns about potential information manipulation.
  • Russian influence in France. French authorities have taken down a fake website mirroring the official French army recruitment portal that falsely claimed to be organising a recruitment drive for French volunteers to fight in Ukraine, with a particular focus on recruiting immigrants. The French defence ministry identified the website as part of a disinformation campaign with Russian or pro-Russian sources behind it.
  • Russian crypto scam machinery. This joint investigation by Qurium and Le Monde exposed a network of fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scams, driven by disinformation, that consists of fake articles impersonating Le Monde, created by RPT Company, a Russian affiliate marketing group. The network bears many similarities to Doppelganger.
  • Labelling deepfakes. YouTube has updated its policies for videos featuring AI-generated content by incorporating new disclosure requirements for creators. The labelling relies on an ‘honour system’. Whether it’s efficient in addressing the growing concerns around AI-generated media and its potential to spread disinformation remains to be seen.

Reading & resources

  • AI tools for OSINT. In this article, Craig Silverman provides an in-depth analysis of key AI tools and methods relevant to OSINT and investigative research. To explore further, join our webinar on 25 April!
  • On cognitive warfare. This study presents a fresh perspective to the concept of cognitive warfare, exploring how disinformation is used to influence the cognition of other geopolitical actors.
  • Digital disparities. This investigation by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) uncovers that big platforms are hindering access to reproductive health information in Africa, Asia and Latin America – while profiting from anti-abortion misinformation ads – and highlights the responsibility of social media platforms and and search engines in shaping healthy public discourse concerning sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Who’s who. Upgrade Democracy has put up this neat and searchable mapping of initiatives and organisations tackling disinformation.

This week’s recommended read

This time, our researcher Ana Romero-Vicente recommends getting acquainted with the concept of “redwashing” by reading this article ‘You know Greenwash: Now meet its evil brother, Redwash’ by Freya Williams.

“Redwashing” serves as a counterpoint to “greenwashing,” where organisations overstate their eco-friendly initiatives. “Redwashing” represents a type of climate disinformation, engaging in a deliberate and deceptive narrative that involves publicly denouncing climate policies while covertly enjoying the benefits of clean energy initiatives. The “redwashing” behaviour not only misleads the public about the entity’s true engagement with sustainability efforts, but also undermines the broader understanding and acceptance of the necessity for climate action. By outwardly opposing eco-conscious policies while secretly capitalising on them, “redwashers” propagate a misleading story that hampers urgent climate progress.

The latest from EU DisinfoLab

  • The good, the bad and the pointless. In a world of greys and nuances, there is one near-universal truth – the closer an online intermediary is to an offence, the more effective it can be in helping to bring an end to the offence. Discover three different types of disinformation website and the stakeholders that are best equipped to tackle each one. Read more in our latest blogpost
  • Climate Clarity. Our new central resource aimed at equipping the community to counter climate disinformation is live. The hub was developed with the support of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union. Explore it here!
  • #Disinfo2024 registrations open! Our annual conference will take place in Riga, Latvia, on 9-10 October. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, exchange and network with the counter-disinformation community. Request your ticket now, and stay tuned for the programme and line-up updates!
  • Ainda é possível travar a desinformação? Portuguese speakers, listen to this Radio Renascença interview with our Research Manager Maria Giovanna Sessa, recorded for the Radar Europa podcast!

Events & announcements


  • AccessNow is seeking a Director – People and Culture.
  • WHAT TO FIX is looking for an Investigations Lead to join its team.
  • The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue’s Digital Conflict is currently recruiting for a Project Manager for their Social Media and Conflict Mediation programme.
  • ARTICLE 19 is hiring a UK or US based Head of Digital Programme.
  • Technische Universität Berlin has an open PhD position to contribute to the ‘FakeXplain – Development of transparent and meaningful explanations in the disinformation detection context’ project.