This year's conference, to be held on 16-17 November at the European University Institute in Florence, promises to be a pivotal moment for addressing the challenges posed by disinformation, notably in view of the dramatic developments in the Middle East and the upcoming European elections.
Disinformation, powered by rapidly advancing AI technology, continues to shape the way information is disseminated. The onset of AI-driven disinformation tools has complicated the fight against false narratives, but it has also opened new doors for detecting and analysing disinformation campaigns.
However, there are persistent hurdles to overcome. Social media companies are still reluctant to share essential data, which limits the effective study and a deeper understanding of online disinformation, and its impact on public opinion in different geographies.
Underlining the relevance of this event, Paolo Cesarini, Programme Director at the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute, stated: “As Europe gears up for the 2024 European elections, it is imperative to address these challenges head-on. More than ever, it is important to extend and consolidate a community of experts, including fact-checkers, researchers, media and civil society organisations, to strengthen a whole-of-society response to the threats that disinformation poses to the integrity of democratic processes and free civic discourse”
EMIF has been at the forefront of combating disinformation in Europe. The fund's initiatives have focused on strengthening the research community, supporting media outlets, and empowering civil society organizations to combat disinformation effectively. A key part of EMIF's mission has been to fund numerous projects in areas such as fact-checking, media literacy, research, and investigations, fostering a united community across Europe. At present, EMIF’s portfolio includes more than 70 funded projects spanning over 24 European countries.
The EMIF Autumn Event 2023 will showcase some of these innovative projects and the impacts they strive to achieve within the broader information space. This event will facilitate dialogue and collaboration between policymakers, scholars, and practitioners dedicated to countering disinformation. The insights and feedback from participants will guide EMIF in aligning its future initiatives with the most pressing challenges.
One notable highlight of the event will be the recognition of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) and its network of national and regional Hubs. EDMO's expert community has been instrumental in implementing European counter-disinformation policies, with a focus on monitoring platforms, conducting field research, and fact-checking in critical areas, including elections, the Ukraine conflict, climate change, and more. They have been actively promoting public awareness through media literacy and communication efforts, as well as setting a framework for transparent access to platform data for research purposes.
“EDMO is a unique platform for fact-checkers, journalists, researchers and media literacy practitioners to exchange knowledge, enhance best practices and carry out coordinated actions to counter disinformation. It’s a stepping stone to a more resilient and trusted media ecosystem in Europe,” Paolo Cesarini stressed.
The EMIF Autumn Event 2023 is poised to enhance cooperation and networking among the diverse actors engaged in disinformation initiatives across Europe, with the aim of achieving more impactful outcomes.
Find more information about the event and register here.