EU Disinfolab

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Group.png EU Disinfolab Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
EU Disinfolab.jpg
Formation2017
FounderGary Machado
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Interests“Fake News”, “Russian Propaganda”
Sponsored byOmidyar Network
Membership• Gary Machado
• Alexandre Alaphilippe
• Clara Hanot
II aligned group focused on "Russian Propaganda"

The EU Disinfolab is a Brussels-based group that looks at "Fake News" and "Russian Propaganda". Together with the Atlantic Council it has set up events such as the 2018 Brussels DisinfoLab, a conference to which the audience was reminded to "please keep in mind that some of the presentations might be delivered under the Chatham House rule".[1]

Official narrative

We believe in honesty. It is crucial to expose any attempts at disrupting the proper functioning of our societies for democracy to flourish. But it is only possible to do so with transparency and access to relevant data, letting us analyse the mechanisms behind those attempts.

We believe in civil society. We cannot leave it to governments to decide whether information is true or false. Civil society needs to be empowered to lead the counter-disinformation effort, with legislation serving only to support it. Building resilience has to be done from the ground up, focusing on innovative civic initiatives.

We believe in cooperation. Effective solutions to disinformation rely on the cooperation between experts from different fields. Initiatives by journalists, NGOs or academics can play a crucial role if they are encouraged, supported and given the opportunity to collaborate. Lasting resilience can only be built with the cross-expertise inclusion of all stakeholders.

We believe in scientific integrity. All our tools and the findings we publish are based on scientific methodologies. We want all initiatives we support to be governed by the same principle and we encourage them to share, improve on and reproduce their ideas and concepts.

We believe in responsiveness. Long-term studies are highly useful, but a rapid reaction toolkit, capable of exposing and countering disinformation campaigns in real time, is necessary to effectively protect societies from malicious efforts.

Pushing for Demonetizing

To skirt freedom of speech issues, Disinfolab advocates "for a strong co-regulatory approach targeting the content distribution processes rather than content itself"[2]. For example, in December 2020, Disinfolab analyzed Patreon, a company used by alternative media to get contributions from its readers, and complained its "efforts to tackle disinformation prioritized English-language content over that of other languages". The report argues that "more action is needed against the spread and monetization of dangerous conspiracy theories on Patreon".[3]

Funding

It is unclear who funds this "independent NGO", and by how much. Its own website does not state any finances. It is known that the billionaire Pierre Omidyar gives some support.

 

Event Planned

EventLocation(s)Description
2018 Brussels DisinfoLabBelgium
Brussels
Euractiv
A 2018 conference set up jointly by the EU Disinfolab and the Atlantic Council

 

EventDescription
Omidyar Network"A philanthropic investment firm"


References