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The European Digital Media Observatory project kicks off

The European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) project has started its activities on 1 June 2020. EDMO will support the creation and work of a multidisciplinary community composed of fact-checkers, academic researchers and other relevant stakeholders. It will collaborate with media organisations and media literacy experts to better understand and limit the phenomenon of disinformation and increase societal resilience to it.

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The consortium selected to manage the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), led by the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), has started its work on 1 June 2020. The EDMO consortium includes the Athens Technology Center (Greece), Aarhus University (Denmark), and the fact-checking organisation Pagella Politica (Italy).

EDMO is funded through the Connect Europe Facility financing programme. The consortium was awarded EUR 2.5 million, from a call launched in October 2019, and was selected from among seven applicants.

The consortium will deploy a platform to support the work of a multidisciplinary community composed by fact-checkers, academic researchers, and other relevant stakeholders with expertise in the field of online disinformation. EDMO will contribute to a deeper understanding of disinformation relevant actors, vectors, tools, methods, dissemination dynamics, prioritised targets and impact on society.   

The European Digital Media Observatory aims to become the European hub to fight online disinformation. It will pool resources, provide tools and networking instruments, and create a safe harbour for data access to fact-checkers and researchers who work to debunk, expose, understand and analyse disinformation activities, trends and techniques online.

A second phase of the project will aim at creating national/regional digital media research hubs across Europe. Funding will be made available through a EUR 9 million call for proposals through CEF that will be launched later during the year.

The creation of the Observatory is one of the elements in the Commission’s detailed Action Plan against disinformation, published on 5 December 2018. The plan aims to reinforce capabilities and strengthen cooperation between Member States and the EU in four key areas: improving detection, coordinating responses, working with online platforms and industry, raising awareness and empower citizens to respond to disinformation online.