A spontaneous and innovative open newsroom born to fight COVID-19 disinformation
On Tuesday 2 June at 16:00 CEST, join us for a webinar with Guillaume and Tim from Journalistes Solidaires where they will present their Open Newsroom, created in response to the COVID-19 infodemic. The Open Newsroom is designed to debunk falsehoods submitted by the public by pooling together accurate information from journalists, experts, and citizens alike.
Insights for future elections
According to Politico’s Mark Scott, U.S. far-right groups have been pushing their (online) agenda in a number of elections since 2017, often using Europe as an audience to test ideas and strategies to be used in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Although relatively unsuccessful in swaying voters, the digital tactics used by the far-right groups have nonetheless inspired their European counterparts. Democracy Reporting International’s Rafael Goldzweig called attention to how online electoral campaigning is more crucial than ever in light of social distancing. Reflecting on the efforts taken by the platforms to curb COVID-19 mis/disinformation, Goldzweig argues that platforms should be more reactive in dealing with political disinformation in the future and recommends that platforms cooperate with authoritative sources, such as electoral bodies and watchdogs, to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.
Twitter’s top COVID-19 disinfo spreaders
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have discovered that almost half of the Twitter accounts discussing ‘Reopening America’ may be bots. Since January, CMU researchers have collected more than 200 million COVID-19 tweets. They found that of the top 50 influential retweeters, 82% are bots. Newsguard has released an investigation looking into the European actors who spread dis/misinformation on Twitter, shedding light on the shortcomings in Twitter’s policy to protect users from COVID-19 misinformation. Politico has a write up that summarises the study’s key findings. Finally, Coda Story has an exclusive on new research detailing how a series of Twitter hashtags have pushed Islamophobic disinformation to 170 million users since the outbreak of the pandemic.
- Bringing to light the power of false narratives offline, European trade unions and telecom lobby groups have called on policymakers to protect employees from attacks spurred on by 5G-COVID-19 conspiracies.
- In a new blog-post, DFRLab explores why the debunked COVID-19 conspiracy video “Plandemic” won’t go away, citing the significance of high-follower QAnon accounts and alt-tech platforms in sustaining the prevalence of the video.
- “I think removing content by Donald Trump will always have to meet a very high bar” Reuters Institute sat down with its Visiting Fellow Richard Allen to reflect on how the tech platforms moderate content online.
- Brookings Institute has shed light on how Chinese information operations have taken a leaf out of the Kremlin’s disinformation playbook in terms of the strategy and tactics used to influence.
- Researchers have taken a retrospective look at the 2014 Ebola communication crisis in the US with a specific focus on misinformation, highlighting the need for policymakers and online platforms to build partnerships / develop response frameworks in advance of an event.
- Leveraging volunteer fact-checking to identify misinformation about COVID-19 in social media – This study advocates for a strategy to detect emerging health misinformation online by tracking replies that seem to provide accurate information.
Events and Announcements
- 27 May, 15:00 CEST @ EU DisinfoLab webinar – ERGA Presentation on its Assessment of the Implementation of the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation.
- 27 May, 11:00 CEST @ EU40 talk – THE ERA OF MISINFORMATION? Living in a Dangerous Reality Under COVID-19.
- 28 May, 10:00 CEST @ GLOBSEC webinar series on Ideas for Resilient Democracies – COVID-19 Infodemic: Push and Pull factors.
- 2 June, 18:00 CEST @ Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society webinar – Data and COVID-19: HEALTH DATA, CONTACT TRACING, AND MISINFORMATION.
- 4 June, 17:00 CEST @ First Draft webinar – Reporting on coronavirus: Inauthentic and coordinated online activity.
- 4 June, 10:30-12:00 CEST @ Mozilla Mornings – Advertising and micro-targeting in the DSA.
- 15 June, 14:30-16:30 CEST @ CERRE webinar – Beyond Personal Data Portability: Economic Implications and Regulatory Challenges of the Exchange of Personal Data between Online Platforms.