Disinfo News and Updates
- Google Europe. Google announced last week they will contribute €25 million to the newly established European Media and Information Fund to address disinformation.
- Code of Practice on Disinformation. The Commissiion has opened the next call for feedback on the revision of the Code of Practice. The feedback seeks input for the preparation of guidelines to strengthen the obligations and implementation of the Code, and is open until Thursday April 29. The guidelines are to be ready by May 26. (Correction: originally I had called this a “public consultation” rather than a call for feedback)
- Budapest Convention. Sweden’s national legislature has approved the ratification of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and its Additional Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism committed through computer systems.
- Mitigating Medical Misinformation. The Technology and Social Change project on Media Manipulation has released a report on mitigating medical disinformation through a “whole-of-society approach.”
[Webinar] Pressure Points: How social media changes our behaviour, and what to do about it
Don’t miss our discussion tomorrow with the lead authors of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) report: Technology and Democracy: Understanding the Influence of Online Technologies on Political Behaviour and Decision-Making
Join us TOMORROW,Wednesday April 7 between 16h and 17h CEST with Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky, of the School of Psychology and Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol, and Laura Smillie, of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre Enlightenment 2.0 Programme.
EU DisinfoLab position on the Digital Services Act
EU DisinfoLab contributed to the EU’s call for feedback on the Commission’s adoption of the Digital Services Act. In our view, the DSA does not do enough to tackle disinformation. By focusing so heavily on the largest actors, the DSA risks overlooking harmful content on smaller, fringe, alternative, and emerging services, as well as the ways in which these services are systematically combined and abused in disinformation campaigns. We advocate for:
- Bolster Risk Assessments. The Commission should consider altering Article 26 (“risk assessments for systemic risks”) to further specify the risks related to disinformation along with a framework for assessing systemic risks related to disinformation, and provide further obligations for all services faced with such risks.
- Expand “Know Your Business Customer” Obligations. The Commission should consider expanding the “Know Your Business Customer” (KYBC) rules to cover a wider range of digital services.
- More nuanced understanding of “vetted researchers”. Over the past five years, the field of disinformation research has grown beyond the university lab, the DSA risks excluding a large number of competent researchers by giving a monopoly of the “vetted researcher” status to academics affiliated to a university.
COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and Facebook: the challenge of moderating anti-vaxx and vaccine hesitant stances
EU DisinfoLab examined COVID-19 vaccine-related disinformation narratives and claims spread on Facebook in December 2020 that had already been debunked by the IFCN CoronaVirusFacts Alliance Database. A month and a half after Facebook’s decision to ban all vaccine-related misinformation from the platform, we still found posts promoting 74% of these false claims (some fact-checked, some unlabelled), even though they are in a clear breach of company policy. This demonstrates a lack of effective, consistent enforcement of self-defined content moderation measures, as well as the limitations of the platform’s general approach to this challenge.
- The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking a Trust & Safety Specialist focused primarily on Disinformation.
- The World Wide Web Foundation is hiring a Gender Research Manager.
- Witness is looking for a Program Associate and a Program Coordinator to join their Technology Threats and Opportunities (TTO) Team.
- Ripe NCC, the Regional Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, is hiring for multiple positions: Chief Community officer, Information Security Engineer, User Interface Engineer, Software Engineer, Legal Counsel, Graphic Designer Trainee, and Registry Services Manager.
- Democracy Reporting International is looking for a Junior Data Analyst to support social media monitoring projects in Tunisia and the MENA region (remote, Arabic fluency required), as well as a Research Coordinator to focus on monitoring and analysing online political discourse and to contribute to policy debates on regulation.