The Observatory’s Scope

SOMA has been launched to provide support to a European community that will jointly fight disinformation. This community is currently named as the “European Observatory against Disinformation”. The Observatory is one of the key goals of SOMA. Its aim is to support experts in their work against disinformation providing them useful infrastructure and connections to a wide community to collaborate with. The members of the Observatory have the chance to exploit existing verification platforms along with new tools, algorithms and processes that will be gradually integrated and launched during the project’s duration.  To initiate the operation of the observatory SOMA is making available a platform for collaborative verification, where all experts will be able to work together for carrying out investigations against disinformation.

This platform:

  • is based on Truly Media, co-developed by ATC and Deutsche Welle;
  • also connects to existing verification tools such as TruthNest;
  • is expected to connect to many other tools that are being developed by relevant R&D projects;
  • includes functionalities that provide an easy communication channel with official sources as the European Parliament, the European Commission and Eurostat for requesting their official position in ongoing investigations;
  • will include additional data sources as the ones analyzed by the European Media Monitoring platform.

Furthermore, SOMA is in negotiations with the major social networks to gain better access to their content and data.

The European Observatory against Disinformation welcomes fact-checkers, media organisations, researchers, social media innovators and non-governmental policy makers who show or plan relevant activity in the disinformation/fact-checking field.

Governmental organisations can also be accepted, but will be granted access to a gov-specific workspace (SOMA-gov). SOMA-gov workspace is totally independent from the SOMA workspace, as organisations in one section are unable to see activities in the other section. It is possible however for members of the one or the other workspace to initiate common investigations which will be visible to both groups.

Admission terms

  • Access to the platform is first granted for a trial period of 2 months. After 2 months, if participants are not directly contacted by the observatory managers, their acceptance is automatically confirmed and granted for the whole duration of the SOMA project (until May 2021) unless they later violate the terms of the Usage and Editorial Policy.
  • The names of admitted organisations will be made publicly available on SOMA web site after the end of trial period, unless they state that they do not wish to be included in this public list.
  • Once admitted, organisations can have up to three persons join the platform and participate to its activities.