EU fighting disinformation

EU fighting disinformation

Disinformation threatens our democracies and the EU is making people aware of what they can do to fight it. One of the biggest challenges we face today is countering online disinformation, making it all the more important to be able to spot it and not spread it any further.

The European Commission has published the following advice and information on medium.com to help you spot and report online disinformation.

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What is disinformation?

Disinformation is any verifiably false or misleading information created, presented and disseminated for economic gain, or to intentionally deceive the public. But this does not mean disinformation is always “false” or untrue. Spreading half-truths, mixing facts with fiction or reusing content out of context are common practices that aim to confuse the readers.

Disinformation can have far-reaching consequences for our society and democracy. It can influence our political decision-making processes and even put the protection of our environment, health, personal security and so much more at risk.

Those who spread disinformation use many tricks to accomplish their goals. Here are six ways to help you spot disinformation and stop its spread online:


1. Check the source

Are you familiar with the news outlet sharing the information? Does the look or feel of the outlet resemble a well-known website but is not quite the same? This could mean the source is unreliable or deceptive.

2. Check the author

If an author or journalist is credible, you should be able to track their previous work and find which organisations they have worked for. You should also be able to find other articles or publications they have written.

Keep in mind that sometimes an “online expert” may not really be an expert in the subject. There is a difference between a specialist and someone obsessed with conspiracy theories.

If you see a social media account posting hundreds of times a day, especially on Twitter, and frequently at suspicious times like at 4 AM, it is likely to be a bot. Other red flags include language or syntax errors and little or no engagement in real conversations.

3. Check the content

Is the story you want to share being covered by traditional media, like newspapers or broadcasters? Does the story match the information put out by public authorities and institutions or NGOs? Remember, credible media outlets have clearly defined reporting standards and the news that they present is balanced, with attributed sources, and has context.

4. Check the pictures and videos

“Seeing is believing” is no longer a given. Sometimes old images are used in different contexts or are completely fake. To verify whether an image is real, you can always try to track back to its original source or use various “online reverse image tools.”

Keep in mind that disinformation technology is constantly evolving as exemplified by the emergence of manipulated videos such as deepfakes.

5. See how the story makes you feel

If an article stirs a lot of (negative) emotions inside you, pause for a moment and ask yourself: did someone deliberately wish to elicit such a response from me? Am I falling into that trap? Disinformation is often designed to trigger negative emotions and erode trust in public authorities and professional media. If that happens, it is always a good idea to check the story with another source — a different media outlet — and see how it compares.

6. Report

If you think that an account is spreading disinformation, report them or the post to the social media platform. They all offer such tools.

Fighting disinformation has to be a coordinated effort involving all relevant actors — from institutions to social platforms, news media and also you. We are all in it together to protect our values and democratic systems in the EU.

Watch the video – What do the experts say?

Harmonised Single Market

New rules will now provide clear harmonised procedures for companies to merge, divide or move within the Single Market. The European Commission have produced a video to explain how this works.

November Newsletter

November Newsletter

We have produced our November e-newsletter early to make sure that people are aware that the Europe Direct Information Services in the UK will continue at all 12 locations until the 31st December 2019. With the political uncertainty of a General Election due to be held in the UK on 12th December and the Withdrawal Agreement not yet ratified by the UK or the EU we are pleased that  Europe Direct East Midlands (North) can continue to keep people informed of developments.

Follow the link below to our November newsletter.

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Brexit flextension due to be agreed by the EU

Brexit flextension due to be agreed by the EU

We are expecting formal notification Tuesday or Wednesday that the EU has agreed the UK’s request for an extension of Brexit. In a tweet this morning President of the European Council explained that a ‘flextention’ was due to be agreed formally by a written procedure. This means that the request to extend Brexit until the 31st January 2020 is approved or until such time as the UK Parliament agree a deal with the EU.

In his Tweet Donald Tusk posted:

“The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK’s request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020. The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure.”

In the meantime the UK Parliament are due to vote today on setting a date for a general election. A BBC report this morning explains:

“It comes as (UK) MPs prepare to vote on proposals by Boris Johnson for an early general election on 12 December. The SNP and Lib Dems have also proposed an election on 9 December.”

We are Europe Direct East Midlands (North) will endeavour to keep you up to date with developments.

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October Newsletter

October Newsletter

The Europe Direct East Midlands (North) October newsletter has now been published. It includes an update on Brexit, details of EU funding calls in the East Midlands and a report on the Europe Direct Information Centres annual general meeting held earlier this month in Prague.

The report includes details of the political guideline of the European Union until 2024.

You can read the newsletter below:

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Latest calls for ESF in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

Latest calls for ESF in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

D2N2 the Local Economic Partnership covering Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, including the two cities of Nottingham and Derby have issued the latest call for funding under the Active Inclusion Fund.

Under the call there are two themes:

 

  1. Multiple Disadvantage
  2. Progress towards Work

 

In total £4,500,000 is available and the deadline is 8th January. An overview of the call is available on D2N2’s Technical Assistance page;

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There will be a number of workshops being held for organisations interested in responding to the call. These are due to be published on D2N2’s events page:

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