MedDMO Launch – The brand new regional coalition that brings Greece, Cyprus and Malta together in the battle against disinformation

The NetSySci lab of the Cyprus University of Technology is pleased to announce our participation in the Mediterranean Digital Media Observatory (MedDMO), a regional hub of the European Digital Media Observatory covering Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.

The two-year-and-a-half project, launched on December 1st, 2022, receives funding from the European Commission’s call for the creation of national hubs on digital media, aiming at extending the reach of EDMO.

MedDMO is a consortium that provides new avenues for collaborative fact-checking by focusing on emerging disinformation campaigns relevant to the specific Mediterranean territory. It aims at representing a crucial source of knowledge on local information environments.

MedDMO intends to be the hub of EDMO covering the European Southeast borders, involving three countries (Greece, Cyprus, and Malta) that apart from the geographic similarities, face quite similar challenges regarding disinformation campaigns that often try to polarise the EU debate around immigration and borders control issues. MedDMO brings together research, fact-checking, and media organisations with internationally acknowledged research work and activity in the area of disinformation and important involvement in the media ecosystems of the three countries. MedDMO plans to set up a technological platform directly connected to the EDMO infrastructure and a daily operation of investigative research that will feed the central and other national hubs with valuable information on a daily basis.

The 9 consortium members include the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) as Project Coordinator, Athens Technology Center S.A., the University of Cyprus, Cyprus Technological University, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, The Times of Malta, The University of Malta, Ellinika Hoaxes and Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Dr. Nikos Sarris, project coordinator and researcher of CERTH shared his thoughts on the newly launched observatory:

“We will try to find organized disinformation campaigns, analyze them and inform the world where they started from and who is behind them. At the same time, we will organize media literacy activities aimed at raising awareness and developing critical thinking among citizens and the media to combat disinformation”.

Dr. Yiannis Kompatsiaris, Director of CERTH’s Institute of Information Technologies and Communications highlighted the institute’s role in developing technology that’s been contributing to the battle against disinformation.

“These tools are based on an innovative research background, we have very good results, but we always pay a lot of attention so that they are integrated into platforms that can be used by end users, whether they are journalists or training users”.

The first in-person meeting of the project took place on the 1st-2nd December 2022. Project partners met in Thessaloniki to get acquainted, discuss, and put into place action plans for the coming months. The project website will soon be launched with further information available.