The official research center for SOMA in Northern Europe was officially opened at a high-level workshop, where top disinformation research was presented by researchers from around the world.
Online disinformation is a problem that crosses borders – both the national ones and the disciplinary ones. It is becoming more and more evident that a solution to the problem cannot be found without substantial international and interdisciplinary collaboration.
That was the focus for the ‘Online disinformation: An Integrated View’ workshop hosted by DATALAB at Aarhus University in Denmark. As the first of three international workshops on online disinformation, the workshop kicked off the establishment of an interdisciplinary research network by gathering top researchers from across the globe to present and discuss their research. Read the final programme for the workshop here.
As part of the workshop, a new research center was launched as the official SOMA reference point in Northern Europe – EU Center for Research in Social Media and Information Disorder or just EU REMID.
The center will function hub for research into information flows on social media with a specific focus on different kinds of disorder e.g. disinformation, misinformation and hostility. Other than supporting researchers, EU REMID will also support teachers, fact checkers and journalists in their work against disinformation by offering knowledge sharing on latest issues, methods, results and effects, technological infrastructure, debunked lists and tools related to SOMA.
The center will be led by Professor in Media Studies at Aarhus University and SOMA partner Anja Bechmann. According to her, it is necessary to better coordinate the fight against disinformation: “Most often, researchers and journalists work in their own silos, but with this center we will try to make more coordinated efforts,” she says.
TjekDet – Danish fact-checkers and part of The International Fact-Checking Network – will be an official partner of the center, and their editor-in-chief Lisbeth Knudsen views such collaborations as an “absolute necessity”: “Disinformation has become one of the great challenges for our democracy. It represents a pollution of our information environment. It seeks to destroy our confidence in democratic institutions and increase political confusion. Our democracies have never been more vulnerable,” she said in her speech at the opening of EU REMID.
You can read more for the REMID EU here.