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Annual EDMO Conference and EDMO hubs meeting in Brussels

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From 13th to 17th May, CEDMO representatives participated in so called ´EDMO week´ in Brussels (Belgium). While Monday and Tuesday were dedicated to ´2024 EDMO Annual Conference´ the rest of the week was devoted to the meeting of EDMO hubs from all around the Europe.

The conference convened media and policy practitioners, policymakers, academics, regulators, journalists, and members of civil society to look at the challenges of online disinformation and how to tackle them. A closer look was paid to disinformation spreading in the run-up to the European elections in 2024.

Six panels were organized altogether that paid attention to:

  • Panel 1 – AI as a contributor to disinformation
  • Panel 2 – AI as part of the solution to disinformation
  • Panel 3 – Disinformation and media and information literacy – standards and best practices
  • Panel 4 – Disinformation and the 2024 European Parliament elections
  • Panel 5 – Online platforms´data access for research purposes
  • Panel 6 – The EU policy to tackle disinformation – The Code of Practice, the DSA and the guidelines on elections integrity

CEDMO contributed into the topic of the first panel “AI as a contributor to disinformation” with its data from CEDMO Trends longitudinal survey that is run in the Czech republic and Slovakia. Táňa Abrhámová, communications manager of the hub, presented the survey results regarding the low knowledge of the principle of generative language models functioning and deepfake phenomenon amongst the Czech and Slovak population. 

Keynote speaker of the conference Věra Jourová, the Vice-President for Values and Transparency (European Commission), addressed three currently pressing and dominating issues: amplified Kremlin actions, AI and digital technologies advancement, conflict in the Middle East and all the related consequences. 

GLOBSEC Senior Research Fellow Katarína Klingová spoke on the panel “The EU Policy to Tackle Disinformation – The Code of Practice, the DSA, and the Guidelines on Election Integrity,” alongside researchers, fact-checkers from other HUBs, representatives of the European Commission, and private sector participants. During her remarks, she specifically addressed the lack of enforcement of certain provisions of the Code of Practice and the DSA, particularly those related to data access for researchers. Ensuring data access for researchers from both academia and civil society across Central Europe (and beyond) is one of the key priorities of CEDMO 2.0 that we will pursue in the coming years.

In closing remarks Paolo Cesarini (EDMO, School of Transnational Governance, EUI) emphasized, among other things, the necessity of transition from debunking disinformation to demasking it.

The full programme of the conference is available on EDMO website: 2024 EDMO Annual Conference – EDMO.

During EDMO hubs meeting Anja Grabovac, the project manager of CEDMO, reflected on hub activities during the first thirty months of its existence and charted the path ahead. Above all, the following achievements were presented: 

  • 1 160+ published fact-checks in four languages (Czech, Slovak, Polish and English) 
  • 12 regular quaterly and thematic Special Briefs covering the most impactful disinformation narratives in the CEE region published since April 2023 (including topics related to Slovak and Polish Parliamentary Elections, Slovak Presidential Elections, shooting at Charles Univesity in December 2023 or European Parliament Elections)
  • research results regarding the impact of disinformation on the society
  • publication of 24 academic articles and 3 scientific books 
  • submission and acceptance of book proposal in Palgrave Macmillan Publishing House
  • participation in more than 40 conferences (both national and international ones)
  • development of a methodological model for the study of disinformation
  • several media literacy educations events and tools prepared in four languages
  • creation of 4 AI-based tools supporting fact-checking work in multiple languages
  • organization of 2 fact-checking conferences in Prague

The whole week was a great pleasure to meet lots of people sharing the same values and goals regarding tackling the negative effects of disinformation on society.  It was also a special opportunity to share in-depth insights, lessons learned and views of the problem from various perspectives. Grateful thanks to all the organizers, namely to Paolo Cesarini, Elena Maggi, Paula Gori and Louise Carnapete.   

Photo credit: Michael Chia

Live ilustrations: Zsofi Lang

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