Hello, and welcome to this edition of the Disinfo Update!

This newsletter marks the end of an intense month during which we participated in many conferences and events (we were happy to have connected with some of you in person!). We also released a number of publications, and are moving into our new office. Your Disinfo Update will adopt a quieter rhythm over the summer and arrive in your inboxes on a monthly basis – on July 30, and on August 27. 

Enjoy the summer, and this read!

Disinfo news and updates

  • Containing abortion misinformation spread. With reproductive rights being dismantled in the U.S., access to correct, factual abortion information online is more critical than ever. According to Jenna Sherman in the Scientific American, “no medical procedure is subject to more misinformation than abortion, and social media and search engine companies have been too stagnant in their efforts to stop the spread.” 
  • Responsible A.I. Acknowledging criticisms, Microsoft announced that it planned to remove automated tools that predict a person’s gender, age and emotional state and will restrict the use of its facial recognition tool.
  • French “news agency”. Pierre Barnerias, the director of Hold Up, a conspiracy theory documentary which claimed to reveal the French government’s lies about COVID-19 and a global conspiracy to control the public, announced the creation of Citizen Light, a ‘media agency’ to compete with leading global news agencies AFP and Reuters. 

EU policy monitor 

  • Digital Services Act (DSA). COREPER I approved the consolidated DSA text on June 15, while IMCO followed suit on June 16. Next steps are for the DSA text to be approved in the European Parliament Plenary on the week of July 4. The Council will most likely vote on the final approval of the text in September. As it is a regulation, once it is adopted, it will directly apply to all countries in the EU. It will apply fifteen months after “entry into force” or from January 1, 2024, whichever later. Though it will apply earlier to VLOPs and VLOSEs, four months after their designation by the European Commission. All of this sounds confusing? Not sure how it will all benefit the work against disinformation? Join our webinar on the DSA User-Guide on 5 July at 12:30 CEST. Register here.
  • Code of Practice on Disinformation. On June 16, the updated Code of Practice on Disinformation was unveiled by the European Commission in an official ceremony with those that have been closely involved in drafting it. While we are still analysing the details of the text – which is accessible here – it is already clear that enforcement and oversight will be key questions to answer. The new Code aims to become a Code of Conduct once the DSA comes into force. The practical details of how this will work are still to be seen, but it might mean fines under the DSA for VLOPs in case they do not comply with the Code they are signatories to. 
  • European Media Freedom Act. The proposal to strengthen media freedom and pluralism in Europe, which was supposed to come out by the end of June, will now be published by the European Commission on September 13. 

What we’re reading

  • Climate change disinformation. This report by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), CASM Technology and the Climate Action Against Disinformation alliance (CAAD), analyses disinformation around global warming, and all the forces and actors that come together to prevent action on climate change.  
  • Journalism and Media and Information Literacy. This article by Divina Fraus revisits the link between disinformation, fact-checking and news literacy.

The latest from EU DisinfoLab

  • Russophobia. Our latest blogpost digs into how Russophobia and disinformation in Germany have weaponised victims since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and how false allegations of Russophobia favour the Kremlin agenda while risking that victims aren’t believed when reporting real cases of hate.  
  • #Disinfo2022. We have updated our list of confirmed speakers and published our draft programme. Check it out, and register here
  • Webinars. Before we enter the full summer season, we have scheduled two webinars: one on the DSA rights and tools (July 5, 12:30PM), and another one around content moderation for small platforms with service provider Tremau (July 13 at 2PM – invitation to come shortly!). Mark your calendars and register!

Events & annoucements

  • June 28: Register to the annual #Regulation4Innovation High-Level Digital Policy Conference from 3:30-5:30 CET.  
  • July 5: EU DisinfoLab webinar “User Guide to the DSA: tools, rights and application in the fight against disinformation” at 12:30PM CEST. Register here
  • July 13: Save The Date for our upcoming EU DisinfoLab/Tremau webinar on content moderation solutions for small platforms, at 2PM CEST.
  • September 22-23: Join the CEDMO Hub conference in Prague, “Europe Tackles Information Chaos.”
  • The CyberPeace Institute has launched its “Cyber Attacks In Times Of Conflict Platform #Ukraine“, which monitors cyberattacks and operations in the quest for cyberpeace and provides insights on how cyberattacks and operations impact civilians and have evolved since the beginning of 2022.


Tweet of the last 2 weeks!