EU-appointed EDMO BELUX hub gears up to tackle one of the great challenges of our times

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is one of the co-founders of the European Digital Media Observatory for Belgium and Luxembourg (EDMO BELUX), a Belgian and Luxembourgish hub for research on digital media and disinformation. EDMO BELUX will launch in October 2021 and operate in five languages (Dutch, French, English, German, Luxembourgish). This European Commission funded hub will gather a network of more than 100 disinformation experts. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel will coordinate EDMO BELUX. The aim is to respond to harmful disinformation campaigns and to increase media literacy.

EDMO BELUX responsibilities

  • EDMO BELUX will bring together an unprecedented and extensive network of experienced fact-checkers, media, disinformation analysts, media literacy organisations and academics to detect, analyse and expose emerging harmful disinformation campaigns.

  • Through rapid alerts in the network, EDMO BELUX’s fact checks and investigative reporting will reach first responders to disinformation (media, civil society, government) in order to minimise the impact of disinformation campaigns.

  • Through media literacy campaigns, EDMO BELUX will raise awareness among and empower citizens and media.

  • Through multidisciplinary research, EDMO BELUX will monitor the impact of disinformation and platform responses on democratic processes.

Concrete actions

In the first thirty months of its operation, the hub will publish 800 fact checks in five languages, conduct OSINT (open source intelligence) investigations on disinformation campaigns, develop and implement media literacy activities at community level in three languages and deliver annual cross-community audience studies on impact of disinformation campaigns, as well as annual assessments of effectiveness of platform responses to disinformation. 

EDMO BELUX members

EDMO BELUX is a cross-community, multilingual collaboration between Vrije Universiteit BrusselUniversitΓ© Saint-Louis - BruxellesMediawijsEU DisinfolabAgence France-PresseRTL Luxembourg and Athens Technology Center. It is one of eight projects to have received EU funding to set up national and multinational observatories to counter disinformation. Of these eight projects, EDMO BENL will also provide services to the Dutch-speaking disinformation research community in Belgium. Hence, there will be a close EDMO BENL – EDMO BELUX collaboration. Exchange of knowledge and practices among project partners and the EDMO network is paramount to effectively and efficiently counter emerging disinformation campaigns in Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union at large.

Within the VUB, EDMO BELUX is a joint venture between the Centre for Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation (CD2I) at the Brussels School of Governance and the Centre for Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology (imec-SMIT). The VUB will coordinate the Belgian and Luxembourgish hub and conduct research on the impact of disinformation on democratic processes.