DCU to lead new digital hub challenging disinformation across Europe

The university will coordinate one of eight hubs in a new network established under the European Digital Media Observatory

Dublin City University has been chosen by the European Commission to be part of the first ever network of hubs established by the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) to fight disinformation. 

The Institute for Future Media, Democracy and Society (FuJo) will coordinate the Ireland Hub while working with TheJournal, NewsWhip, and University of Sheffield. The Hub will apply AI tools to detect and analyse disinformation campaigns, produce fact checks and media literacy campaigns, and support public authorities with policy research and analysis. 

Project co-ordinator Dr Eileen Culloty said, 

“Disinformation is a complex problem that needs a whole-of-society response. The aim of the Ireland Hub is to build resilience by working with stakeholders across the policy, media, research, and civil society sectors.”

FuJo Director Prof. Jane Suiter said, 

“Throughout Covid-19, online platforms were a breeding ground for health disinformation and hateful campaigns against minorities. There is a pressing need to build capacity to respond to these threats.”

DCU is part of an overall group of eight hubs that have received funding of €11 million from the European Union to help implement and expand the work of EDMO. The aim is to put in place actions to increase EDMO’s capacity of tackling harmful disinformation campaigns at national and EU level, and analyse their impact on society and democracy.
The selected hubs cover Ireland, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, as well as Norway, in the EEA. They should be operational by the end of summer 2021.

To mark its first year of activities, the European Digital Media Observatory will hold its first annual conference, EDMO Week: United Against Disinformation, on 7-11 June bringing together stakeholders working to tackle online disinformation, including researchers, regulatory authorities, online platforms, civil society, and the policy sector.

About the project partners
The DCU Institute for Future Media, Democracy and Society (FuJo) investigates critical issues in the information and communication environments. FuJo coordinates PROVENANCE, a H2020 project that is developing online supports to help people recognise low-quality information and JOLT, a Marie Curie ITN on harnessing digital and data technologies for journalism. FuJo is a partner on EUComMeet, a H2020 project on embedding deliberative practices and institutions in EU governance. 

ADAPT, the Leading SFI research centre for AI driven Digital Content Technology, is a partner on PROVENANCE and EUComMeet and will provide support for the Ireland EDMO Hub. 

TheJournal is Ireland’s most popular online-only news publisher and the first and only accredited fact-checking entity in the Republic of Ireland. TheJournal was one of 19 publishers participating in FactCheckEU ahead of the 2019 European elections and is a member of the CoronaVirusFacts Global Alliance.
is an Irish technology company that is internationally recognised as the world’s leading content intelligence provider. It has developed award-winning technologies for real-time content discovery and predictive analysis across all major social networks. NewsWhip is a partner on H2020 PROVENANCE.

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 Europe. It has developed world-leading research in the field of social media analysis, in particular rumours and misinformation.