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Investigations into Disinformation Dynamics
30 30+00:00 June, 2022 @ 8:00 - 17:00
Investigations into Disinformation Dynamics
NEED HELP WITH THIS CALL?
The following types of organisations may apply and be funded as Lead Applicants or members of the consortium:
- Non-profit organisations, including public service media;
- Educational institutions;
- Research centres;
- Non-governmental organisations;
- Media literacy organisations.
- For-profit organisations of any status and size operating as fact-checkers, news media organisations or technology providers, on condition that the consortium integrates one or more entities mentioned above.
This Call is specifically aimed at projects that can enlarge the current evidence base about the dynamics and characteristics of disinformation campaigns affecting European audiences, including foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI), and designed to undermine European policies and values under the current geopolitical circumstances.
Examples of relevant projects under this Call include:
“Follow-the-Money” Investigations. These projects should monitor the economics of disinformation by identifying funding channels and evaluating budgets throughout a relevant timeframe and by looking in particular into specific aspects such as:
- monetisation of disinformation by on-site advertising services provided by major online platforms, or
- paid-for disinformation content placed on online platforms services, and/or promoted by social media influencers, or
- monetisation through advertising networks placing ads on third-party disinformation websites, or
- the market for (user) data and the (ab)use thereof for the dissemination of disinformation, or
- use of other funding channels.
The proposed projects should make use of existing insights provided by factchecking organisations or other entities specialised in the verification of online information sources, in order to analyse online sources that systematically purvey disinformation by tracing relevant funding channels and evaluating budgets.
An atomy of disinformation. These reports could investigate the tactics, techniques and protocols (TTPs) commonly used by purveyors of disinformation to manipulate information and artificially amplify its reach. Given the fast-evolving nature of such TTPs, the proposed projects should leverage available knowledge with a view to identifying the web resources and technologies used in specific disinformation campaigns, as well as the interactions between online and offline behaviour. The ultimate objective should be exposing emerging disinformation narratives with the potential to influence the public discourse, as well as the agents, instigators, intermediaries and intended targets involved.
Investigations in to comparative contentious issues. Discussions spanning from the Covid-19 pandemic to climate or geopolitics often assume that the actors who are leveraging these topics for financial or political gain, and the citizens who are influenced by such disinformation campaigns, are largely similar for all of these topics. However, this has not yet been put to the test in a convincing manner. Dedicated investigations into this area could enhance the public understanding of the actors and targets of different disinformation campaigns.
Investigations in to disinformation networks. Dedicated projects could investigate links between originators, vectors, intermediaries and proxies to establish evidence of inauthentic coordinated behaviour through disinformation networks operating within a single online platform, or across different platforms, or across a mix of online and offline information sources. They should properly define the context in which the analysed cases of disinformation have occurred and, in order to strengthen the available evidence on the phenomenon, they should angle their investigations towards specific topics of public interest, or to specific manipulative behaviour cutting across different narratives, different languages, or different countries.
Investigations into foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI). Projects in this category could identify and analyse specific cases of statesponsored disinformation campaigns, foreign interference in European political processes, and the manipulation of European audiences. These projects can reveal both recognised and unknown state actors targeting the European Union and its member states, the strategies these actors employ, potential differences and similarities between these strategies, as well as their intended targets and potential objectives.
Investigations in to the impact of disinformation. Taking specific disinformation campaigns as a basis, the proposed projects could develop new insights regarding their impact on European citizens. Particular attention could be paid to the manner in which disinformation may affect specific audiences differently, depending on, among other things, their social background, status or gender. Audience measurement techniques could be deployed in order to quantify the exposure to disinformation and/or identify vulnerable groups within relevant audiences. Projects may focus on Europe as a whole, or on one or more European countries.
The following types of activities are eligible:
- Investigations into one of the topics set out above, including acquisition and analysis of existing research, fact-checking materials and datasets;
- Production, distribution and adaptation in different languages of reports and analyses resulting from relevant investigations;
- Awareness-raising actions, including conferences, seminars, and events, and dissemination of the material created by the project;
- Usage of innovative tools to improve the understanding of systemic risks of the digital media ecosystem;
- Promotion of social media campaigns and other relevant activities aimed at countering disinformation by using the outcomes of the proposed investigations;
- Actions aiming at the creation and improvement of networks, exchanges of good practices, and uptake of innovative methodologies and relevant technologies.
- The allocation for this Call is 1.200.000,00 €
- Maximum Value: 150.000,00 € – 9 Months