The European Commission Promotes a New Call to Protect the Truth

Culture - August 30, 2023

Europe Commits to Defending Good Information by Incentivising New Projects to Help Fight Online Disinformation and Fake News

The spread of disinformation represents an increasingly growing threat to modern society, and, with the rapid development of digital technologies and social media, false, manipulated or misleading news can spread quickly, influencing public opinion, undermining trust in institutions and even threatening democracy itself. Aware of this challenge, the European Commission has launched a new call to fight fake news and protect the truth with a potentially decisive and revolutionary impact on the fight against disinformation.

Disinformation has become an urgent issue in Europe, and whether it is purely political, economic or social health, it is clear that its diffusion, especially online, is a phenomenon to be stemmed as soon as possible to avoid worse consequences in the future. Over the years, false narratives and manipulated news have fuelled social tensions, influenced elections and caused real harm to individuals and communities. The European Commission has recognized the urgency of addressing this threat to protect social cohesion and preserve the truth in public debates.

The new call from the European Commission focuses on promoting innovative solutions to fight disinformation, offering funding and resources to support projects that aim to combat the spread of fake news and improve public awareness of the importance of quality journalism and verification of sources. Among the key aspects of the tender, the development and implementation of advanced technologies to verify the veracity of online information will be fundamental. These technologies may use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse sources and identify false or misleading content on each platform.

The call also aims to support the training of journalists and media workers to improve their skills in recognizing and countering disinformation thus helping to promote responsible and quality journalism, essential for maintaining reliable and accurate information and that can actually help the average user in understanding current events or any other subject matter. Strengthening public awareness of disinformation is crucial and, in this regard, the call supports educational projects that aim to equip the public with the necessary skills to critically evaluate news and recognize reliable sources that have so far been difficult to distinguish.

The fight against disinformation requires a coordinated approach among the Member States of the European Union, therefore, the call under discussion in the European Commission encourages cross-border collaboration to exchange information, strategies and best practices in the fight against disinformation so as to create a network information international always updated and well controlled. Collaboration between Member States will be fundamental especially in such a delicate period from a geo-political point of view as today.

The new call from the European Commission represents an important step forward in the fight against disinformation in Europe and, consequently, for the whole world. By promoting innovative solutions and supporting the education of the public and journalists, the initiative aims to protect the truth and preserve the currently sharply declining trust in democracy. However, it is important to emphasize that disinformation is a complex and ever-evolving problem. A long-term commitment from all actors involved – governments, institutions, media and citizens – will be needed to effectively address this threat and protect society from the harmful influence of fake news. Only through a joint effort can we hope to build a future based on truth and knowledge and which will help citizens better understand the developments of a democracy in constant change and constantly subject to the vicissitudes that shape it. The news that is published every day on all kinds of online platforms could influence readers’ consciences and that is why Europe cannot afford fake news.