Scroll Top
EDMO Task Force On Disinformation On The War In Ukraine

Why Was The EDMO Task Force On Disinformation
On The War In Ukraine Created?

The current war in Ukraine shows that disinformation is playing an active role both in the conflict and in the right of citizens to access information. Be the incentives political, financial or societal, the spread of disinformation on the war is impacting society and decision makers and producing an information disorder around the conflict.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already shown that disinformation has reached crisis proportions and, among other things, has created the background against which the current information war, and the amount of disinformation circulating in the European Union, can be waged more effectively against a much more fragile global public opinion. Moreover, the dominant disinformation narratives, patterns and techniques show that disinformation seeks to disrupt international peace and the rules-based order, public health, democratic processes and institutions all at the same time. Disinformation is a systemic problem, that requires systemic solutions involving collective responsibility both within and across nations.

We expect the current information war to be a long-term one rather than a blietzkrig, seeking to create information fatigue, to muddy conversations and to blur the distinctions between what is real and what is not. This is why, we consider that, while major improvements in terms of resilience cannot be expected under crisis situations, the EDMO Task Force can contribute to keeping the focus of policy- and decision-makers, public and private stakeholders and the public at large and thus avoiding the trap of information, debunking and fact-checking fatigue.

What Is The General Objective Of The EDMO Task Force?

The EDMO task force has a strong academic/ research focus, yet the objective is to provide actionable insights, that are relevant for policy- and decision-makers, for public and private stakeholders and for the public at large. These insights are the basis for encouraging awareness and meaningful public conversations about a phenomenon which poses a threat to the health of the information ecosystem in a liberal democracy and thus democratic life.

What Differentiates The EDMO Task Force?

The EDMO Task Force is not in competition with other endeavours, but complementary to them; it seeks to create synergies and to contribute to systemic interventions.
It primarily focuses on disinformation within and across EU member states; expansion of the geographical scope will be evaluated taking into account that, more often than not, disinformation crosses borders, including the digital ones.
It is evidence-based, especially in terms of seeking hard evidence of circulation/ engagement/ amplification mechanism/ monetization, coordinated behaviour on platforms and across platforms, both inauthentic and authentic;
It is not politicised;
It carries out research across platforms;
It relies on independent professional fact-checkers, whose work adheres to ethics standards;
Task Force members participate on a voluntary basis.

What Are The Fields Of Action Of The EDMO Task Force?

The EDMO Task Force on disinformation on the war in Ukraine is independent. It focuses on disinformation that emerges from all sources, with the aim of providing necessary context to actors, narratives, formats and intended audiences.

The Task Force has identified key complementary and cumulative fields of action that are needed to understand the actors, trends and patterns of disinformation on the war in Ukraine and to build societal resilience.

Independent fact-checking
Independent research and access to relevant data
Media and information literacy initiatives

It is only by having sound evidence within these three fields, that the phenomenon can be really understood and tackled.

Independent fact-checking is intercepting and debunking disinformation; independent, evidence-based research identifies the actors, techniques and trends of detected disinformation; media and information literacy initiatives provide society and citizens with tools to navigate the information sphere more safely.

Actions in all three areas are of key importance. It is only by acting cumulatively on the three fields that we can have a full understanding of the phenomenon, which can serve as a basis for evidence-based decision-making processes by public and private actors.

How Is The Work Of The EDMO Task Force Organised?

In order to cope with the urgency of the topic, the Task Force is divided into working groups that reflect the three above-mentioned fields of action.

The three working groups collate and highlight the work already being done on disinformation, as well as conduct original research and analysis. When content is already available it will be collected/connected and gaps will be identified, which in turn will nudge the creation of new content to be collected.

The Task Force counts on the collaboration of the EDMO Hubs and of the Small Scale Online Media Projects.

Specific Activities

Independent fact-checking

Collection of fact-checking articles produced by fact-checkers in the EDMO network
Weekly briefs summarising main narratives and instances of disinformation
Statements on specific topics that can be useful for stakeholders and for public awareness

Independent research and access to relevant data

Collection of relevant existing research with a multidisciplinary approach
Identification of datasets needed for research purposes
Correspondence with online platforms to request access to relevant datasets and follow-up dialogue
Identification of a pool of independent researchers to conduct relevant research

Media and information literacy initiatives

Collection of the media and information literacy initiatives at MS level
Publicity of best practice examples


Chair: Claire Wardle | Brown University and FirstDraft
Alexandre Alaphilippe | EU Disinfo Lab
Alina Bargaoanu | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration of Romania
Anja Bechmann | Aarhus University
Kalina Bontcheva | University of Sheffield
Tommaso Canetta | Pagella Politica
Dominika Hajdu | GlobSec
Carlos Hernández-Echevarría |
Roman Imielski | Gazeta Wyborcza
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen | Reuters Institute – Oxford University
Sonia Livingstone | London School of Economics and Political Science
Gianni Riotta | Luiss University
Grzegorz Rzeczkowski | Polityka
Renate Schroeder | European Federation of Journalists
Jochen Spangenberg | Deutsche Welle
Paweł Terpilowski | Demagog PL
Rebekah Tromble | George Washington University
Richard Woods | Global Disinformation Index


Read Every Report of the Taskforce