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EU centre to combat fake news: call for tenders

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EU centre to combat fake news: call for tenders

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(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission published Monday a call for tenders to create the first core service of a digital platform to help fight disinformation, or fake news, in Europe.

The 'European Digital Media Observatory' is to serve as a hub for fact-checkers, academics and researchers where they can collaborate with each other and actively link with media organisations and media literacy experts, and provide support to policy makers.

The EUR 2.5 million first call is seen as a first real step towards implementation of a European hub to fight disinformation online. Fact-checkers and academic researchers will pool their efforts and actively collaborate with media organisations and media literacy experts.

The Commission says the platform will provide media practitioners, teachers and citizens with information and material "aimed at increasing awareness, building resilience to online disinformation and supporting media literacy campaigns".

It hopes it will help put build a framework to ensure secure access to platforms' data for academic researchers working to better understand disinformation.

The Observatory is one element in a Commission action plan on fighting disinformation, published 5 December 2018. This aims to reinforce capabilities and strengthen cooperation between Member States and the EU in four key areas: improve detection, coordinate responses, work with online platforms and industry, raise awareness and empower citizens to respond to disinformation online.

In the area of awareness and citizens' empowerment, the plan foresees concrete actions to help fact checkers and researchers in their fight understanding and discovering the sources of disinformation. The Commission says it is committed to finance a digital platform which will network together independent national multidisciplinary teams, and this call for tenders is a direct implementation of the commitment made in the action plan.

To implement the three other areas of actions, the EU has:

  • increased the budget and power of the Strategic Communication Task Forces and the EU Hybrid Fusion Cell in the European External Action Service (EEAS),
  • developed a Rapid Alert System to better coordinate common responses,
  • worked effectively with online platforms to implement the commitments of the Code of Practice against Disinformation.

First call for tenders for the creation of the European Digital Media Observatory

The call for tenders opened on 1 October and will run until 16 December 2019.

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