EU DisinfoLab is excited to be one of the co-founders of the European Digital Media Observatory for Belgium and Luxembourg (EDMO BELUX), a Belgian and Luxembourgish hub for research on digital media and disinformation. EDMO BELUX was launched in October 2021 and operates in five languages (Dutch, French, English, German, Luxembourgish).
This European Commission funded hub will gather a network of more than 100 disinformation experts. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel will coordinate EDMO BELUX.
EDMO BELUX responsibilities
- EDMO BELUX brings together an unprecedented and extensive network of experienced fact-checkers, media, disinformation analysts, media literacy organisations and academics to detect, analyse and expose emerging harmful disinformation campaigns.
- Through rapid alerts in the network, EDMO BELUX’s fact checks and investigative reporting will reach first responders to disinformation (media, civil society, government) in order to minimise the impact of disinformation campaigns.
- Through media literacy campaigns, EDMO BELUX raises awareness among and empower citizens and media.
- Through multidisciplinary research, EDMO BELUX will monitor the impact of disinformation and platform responses on democratic processes.
In the first thirty months of its operation, the hub will publish 800 fact checks in five languages, conduct OSINT (open source intelligence) investigations on disinformation campaigns, develop and implement media literacy activities at community level in three languages and deliver annual cross-community audience studies on impact of disinformation campaigns, as well as annual assessments of effectiveness of platform responses to disinformation.
EDMO BELUX is a cross-community, multilingual collaboration between Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles, Média Animation, Mediawijs, EU DisinfoLab, Agence France-Presse, RTL Luxembourg, RTBF and Athens Technology Center. It is one of eight projects to have received EU funding to set up national and multinational observatories to counter disinformation. Of these eight projects, BENEDMO will also provide services to the Dutch-speaking disinformation research community in Belgium. Hence, there will be a close BENEDMO – EDMO BELUX collaboration. Exchange of knowledge and practices among project partners and the EDMO network is paramount to effectively and efficiently counter emerging disinformation campaigns in Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union at large.
Follow EDMO BELUX:
- Website: https://belux.edmo.eu/ and subscribe to the community: https://belux.edmo.eu/community/
- Twitter: @BELUX_EDMO
The disinformative ecosystem: Link sharing practices on Telegram as evidence of cross-platform amplification
In November 2022, EDMO BELUX released its second research that focuses on understanding the information-sharing habits of 30 Dutch-speaking Telegram far-right and conspiracy communities to gain insight into the broader media sphere to which they pertain and on which they feed. Findings show that disinformation is an ecosystem of cross-platform interaction and contamination where mainstream and alternative media coexist.
Click here to discover the findings of this study.
“From antivax to war propaganda: A global disinformation switch visible in Belgium”: First EDMO BELUX investigation
In May 2022, EDMO BELUX released its first investigation. An analysis of 225 Dutch-speaking far-right and conspiracists Telegram public channels, some of them based in Belgium, shows the porosity between disinformation linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and pro-Russian war propaganda. This EDMO BELUX investigation also highlights how this phenomena fits into a more global trend of convergence of narratives on these two topics.
In the context of a new peak of disinformation when the Ukraine war started, and learning from the coronavirus-led infodemic and the circulation of international disinformation narratives, the VUB and EU DisinfoLab have joined forces to analyse how these global trends translated in Belgium, specifically on Dutch-speaking Telegram public channels.
Click here to discover the findings of this study and to read the press release.