Under Political Capital’s coordination, the fight against misinformation and fake news enters a new phase in Hungary
The fight against disinformation campaigns in Hungary will enter a new phase in January 2023 with the launch of an expanded version of the Hungarian Digital Media Observatory (HDMO). Since its launch in 2021, the fact-checking portal lakmusz.hu (Lakmusz is Hungarian for Litmus-test) reached over 1.5 million readers, and this work will be expanded by the six autonomous organizations working in the Hungarian Digital Media Observatory. Researchers from Political Capital and the Mérték Media Monitor will study the spread of disinformation and the effectiveness of measures taken to combat it, journalists from the French news agency AFP and Lakmusz will continue their fact-checking work, the Idea Foundation will provide media literacy courses, and the digital infrastructure of HDMO will be provided by the French ePressPack.
The 30-month project - like the first phase - is co-financed by the European Commission as part of the Digital Europe Programme. The HDMO consortium was selected by the European Commission through an open call and is fully independent.
We are planning new research projects on offline and online disinformation and on inauthentic behavior online, and using big data we are developing automated tools to help identify trends and actors in the disinformation space - said Peter Krekó, director of Political Capital Institute.
It was immediately obvious after launching Lakmusz, how much the Hungarian audience was waiting for such a site: we reached our annual goal of reaching 1 million readers within the first six months. We are proud that we can continue this work - said Blanka Zoldi, editor in chief of Lakmusz.
“This move is a recognition of the quality of digital verification at AFP worldwide, and specifically in Hungary”, said Bronwen Roberts, head of digital investigation in Europe. “We are proud to be part of this project that is already very successful, not least because Hungary is one of the European countries most hit by campaigns of disinformation.”
“I take pride in having Epresspack technology serving this European democratic fight. Sourced and trusted information has become a great cause of the technology era we live in. Our technology will always be available to support European initiatives pursuing that goal” said Antoun Sfeir, CEO, Epresspack
The new national and regional hubs will cover Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Romania and Slovenia. They will be operational from early next year, complementing the existing eight hubs to extend EDMO’s reach and geographical coverage to the whole EU. Together with the current eight hubs already in place since 2021, they will expand coverage of the EDMO network to 100% of the EU population - the European Commission explained in a release announcing the new hubs.
Lakmusz (Magyar Jeti Zrt.)
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