As part of the EU strategy to limit the impact of harmful disinformation campaigns, the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) was established in June 2020. Under the leadership of the European University Institute in Florence, EDMO brings together fact-checkers, media literacy experts, and academic researchers to understand and analyse disinformation, in collaboration with media organisations, online platforms and media literacy practitioners. EDMO will deploy a technical infrastructure designed to facilitate knowledge exchanges and collaborative processes among fact-checkers and academic researchers.
EDMO created eight national or multinational hubs for research and journalistic investigations on digital media and disinformation. There are three national hubs based in Ireland, France, Italy and five multinational hubs covering Central Europe, the Nordics, Spain and Portugal, Belgium-Luxembourg, and Belgium-Netherlands.
Each national and multinational hub constitutes a network of organisations active in one or several Member States, to provide specific knowledge of local information environments so as to strengthen the detection and analysis of disinformation campaigns, improve public awareness, and design effective responses for national audiences.
The EDMO Ireland Hub
Coordinated by Dublin City University, the EDMO Ireland Hub involves four, internationally recognised partners with an established and ongoing commitment to national and EU collaborations on disinformation and media. The hub combines social science expertise in disinformation and media literacy (DCU FuJo); award-winning technological resources for detecting content and predicting virality (NewsWhip); cutting edge AI technologies for analysing disinformation and supporting fact-checkers (University of Sheffield NPL Group); and an experienced fact-checking team from Ireland’s leading online news publisher (The Journal FactCheck). The Hub’s core activities will be supported by an extensive network of stakeholders who are committed to collaborating on countering disinformation, promoting media literacy, and supporting quality journalism.
The main objectives are to support the implementation of the European Digital Media Observatory’s Core Service Platform and to develop a multidisciplinary community of Irish stakeholders committed to countering disinformation.
These objectives will be achieved by:
- Deploying advanced AI tools for disinformation detection and analysis
- Providing public and stakeholder resources including factchecks and datasets
- Developing media literacy resources and campaigns
- Cooperating with national authorities and partners across Ireland and the EU
About the EDMO Ireland Hub Partners
DCU Institute for Future Media Democracy and Society (FuJo)
The DCU FuJo Institute is a multidisciplinary research centre focused on the digital transformation of media, democracy, and society. FuJo investigates how to counter digital pathologies including disinformation and digital hate; how to enhance public participation through democratic innovations; and how to secure the sustainability of high-quality journalism.
The Institute brings the experience and reach of DCU’s top-rated School of Communications and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences together with researchers from two Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centres: the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and the ADAPT Centre.
The Institute works closely with partners from the academic, industry, non-governmental organisation, and policy sectors to develop international and national research projects.
NewsWhip is the only real-time media monitoring platform that predicts the stories and topics that will matter in the hours ahead, giving communications professionals the clarity they need for quick and confident decisions. They do this by analysing millions of social media engagements, and hundreds of thousands of news websites, all in real time.
NewsWhip also supports leading publishers, academics and NFP’s such as Axios, University of Michigan, Valent Projects and Center for Countering Digital Hate in their efforts to monitor, track and quantify the spread of misinformation.
University of Sheffield Natural Language Processing Research Group
The Natural Language Processing (NLP) Group at the University of Sheffield is one of the largest and most successful research groups in text mining and language processing in the EU. The group is based in the Department of Computer Science, which also includes world-class teams in the areas of speech, knowledge and information processing, biotechnology, and machine learning for medical informatics. The NLP group has world-leading research records in the fields of social media analysis (in particular rumours and misinformation), machine learning methods for NLP, intelligent conversational agents and dialogue systems, NLP infrastructures (GATE), cloud-based text-analytics-as-a-service, information extraction, question answering, and terminology extraction.
This project will benefit from the NLP group expertise acquired during projects like H2020 WeVerify (grant: 825297), H2020 SoBigData++ (grant: 871042), FP7 PHEME (grant: 611233), among others. The named entity recognition and entity linking services developed in the WeVerify and SoBigData projects have already been integrated into the Truly Media platform to support the work of fact-checkers across Europe.
Journal Media is an independently-owned and managed media organisation. The Journal is their flagship publication with a mix of breaking news, in-depth reporting, opinion, explainers and exclusives. The Journal’s objective is to provide open access to quality journalism for every online news consumer in Ireland, equipping their readers to make informed decisions on those issues which impact their lives.
The Journal FactCheck unit was established in 2016 to sift truth from claims in the Irish political arena in the run-up to the General Election of that year but has since expanded its operations to factcheck misinformation and disinformation across all spheres. In early 2020, they launched their Covid-19 Debunking Project, and they contribute to the global CoronaVirusFacts Alliance.
Since 2017, they have been the only verified Irish signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) Code of Principles.