EDMO’s Vision And Mission

Our Vision
"European Digital Media Observatory: quality information vs. disinformation"
EDMO is an independent observatory bringing together fact-checkers and academic researchers with expertise in the field of online disinformation, social media platforms, journalist driven media and media literacy practitioners. It aims to act as a reference point on data and policies on disinformation, public trust, media literacy and quality information. It aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of disinformation relevant actors, vectors, tools, methods, dissemination dynamics, prioritised targets and impact on society.
In other words: Projects coordinated by EDMO notably help to identify disinformation, uproot its sources or dilute its impact, support fact checking and quality information, and connect related expert communities.
Our Background
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Set up in June 2020, as a body funded by the EU, EDMO is a partnership under the leadership of the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), which relies on the expertise of its School of Transnational Governance and Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, and includes Datalab at Aarhus University, Athens Technology Center, which provides the technological support and is also coordinating the Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis (SOMA); and Pagella Politica. Under the guidance of the Executive Board and an independent Advisory Board, the consortium brings together stakeholders in the field of disinformation detection and analysis,
while maintaining independence and impartiality in the execution of its tasks. All members of the consortium and of its governing bodies have strong expertise in analysing online disinformation and are used to working within a multidisciplinary applied approach with policymakers, public and private actors.
Members of the Advisory Board serve in their personal capacity, even if they belong to a particular organization/company. Their participation in EDMO activities is regulated by the Charter of the Governance Body, including provisions on transparency and any possible conflicts of interest.
Our Mission
EDMO brings together experts and organisations from the digital media fields in the widest sense.

This includes fact-checkers, academic researchers, media professionals, media literacy experts to better understand and analyse online disinformation, in collaboration with – among others but not exclusively – online platforms, media organisations and stakeholders, community leaders and national regulatory authorities. It promotes scientific knowledge on online disinformation, advances the development of fact-checking services (human and AI supported) and supports media literacy programmes.

While EDMO’s main focus is on the European infosphere, it addresses domestic and international disinformation and cooperates with similar initiatives at global, multinational and national levels. EDMO studies the interplay between social media, mainstream media and political or opinion leaders in the potential spread of disinformation. Based notably on the report of the High-Level Expert Group on disinformation, EDMO also supports and provides expertise in assessing the implementation of the Code of Practice on Disinformation. EDMO fulfils its mission taking into account the importance of economics, pluralism, quality and trust of traditional media and of professional journalism, which remain one of the main forces that can counteract disinformation within the EU.

EDMO will deploy a platform to support a multidisciplinary community with expertise in online disinformation and contribute to a deeper understanding of disinformation, relevant actors, vectors, tools, methods, dissemination dynamics, targets, and impact on society and proactively proposes to relevant bodies possible remedies and solutions. Since information technology, artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots etc. will play an increasing role in promoting and hiding strategic disinformation, EDMO will keep abreast of new opportunities to promote cybersecurity and data analysis to tackle online disinformation.

Our Values
EDMO promotes core values among its partners and the wider fact-checking and media and information literacy community including:
  • Public trust with regard to the platform to detect disinformation campaigns
  • Independent fact-checking activities in Europe
  • Scientifically grounded academic research on disinformation
  • Critical thinking and fair debates amongst a media literate population in schools, universities and local communities
  • Healthy and pluralistic media environment in Europe, including both public broadcasters and private sector media, based on their specific remits
  • Independent media ethics and revenue models as a pillar for democracy and the first antidote against disinformation
  • Transparent financing, ownership and business models
  • Level playing field in liabilities applicable to all digital media, including over-the-top providers
  • Differentiated implementation of principles according to size of media organisation, their own reach and width of language areas
  • European values protecting the privacy of individuals and their personal data as a prerequisite for trustful relations between citizens and media
  • Tolerance and dialogue, while rebuilding trust based on human and civil rights, as stated in the main European human rights instruments
  • Appropriate regulation to help rebalance the information ecosystem, whether self-regulation, co-regulation or other legislative initiatives
Our Goals
EDMO fulfils its goals, among others, through annual action plans and public reports and works on a set of strategic priorities, which include the following areas of activity:
  • Run a secure online platform supporting the academic analysis of disinformation campaigns and providing public information to raise awareness about disinformation
  • Training activities on a variety of topics related to disinformation for relevant stakeholders, including fact-checking actors, researchers, journalists and policy makers (ranging from training professional journalists including newsrooms, print, radio, television, digital in tackling online disinformation to training relevant policy makers on European policies and regulations or principles for media information and literacy policies)
  • Support and facilitate the coordination of independent fact-checking activities in Europe in close relation with the EDMO national hubs, including the mapping of fact-checking activities in Europe and the creation of searchable directories aggregating fact-checks and media literacy material from external repositories
  • Support and facilitate the coordination of academic research activities on disinformation in Europe, including by creating a repository with relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature
  • Based on policy research and analysis, provide recommendations to European institutions and governments regarding social media platforms’ compliance with the Code of Practice on Disinformation and assess the effectiveness of the whole spectrum of tools, from self-regulation, co-regulation, competition rules to new legislative initiatives
  • Provide support to public authorities in monitoring the measures taken by online platforms to limit the spread and impact of disinformation, and proactively propose to relevant bodies scientifically grounded solutions identified during its work
  • Negotiate and establish a framework to provide secure access to data of online platforms for research purposes
  • Identify and mitigate threats and risks to a healthy online information environment in line with EDMO’s Scientific Focus and its scientifically grounded and societal impact-oriented research approach on a variety of topics, including by way of example:
    • The infosphere environment, in Europe and abroad, to shed light on ownership and business models, map the erosions of trust, revenues and data in the buildup of disinformation, and suggest measures to help rebalance the information ecosystem
    • The role of EU Public Service Media in fulfilling their remits and missions related to EDMO mandate
    • The role and quality of AI algorithms, machine learning tools and data analysis to detect and analyze disinformation
    • Disinformation campaigns on Covid-19
  • Consider and propose possible revenue-generating activities, opportunities for cooperation with third party organizations, and explore other possibilities for EDMO to finance its activities and operations