The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: How Platforms Are Prioritising some EU Member States in their COVID-19 Disinformation Responses

Research report


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Published date: April 28, 2021

Author: Trisha Meyer, Alexandre Alaphilippe, and Claire Pershan

Region: Europe

Subject tag: Data Access | Disinformation and misinformation

In this article, we map, compare and analyse the monthly COVID-19 disinformation monitoring reports that platforms have submitted to the European Commission as part of their commitment to the Fighting COVID-19 Disinformation Monitoring Programme. This monitoring and reporting programme was established from the 2020 Joint Communication “Tackling COVID-19 disinformation – Getting the facts right” to ensure transparency and accountability among platforms and industry signatories to the Code and to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 related disinformation online. For additional assessment of the effectiveness of this reporting programme, see our publication from February: “One Year Onward: Platform Responses to COVID-19 and US Elections Disinformation in Review”. Here, in an effort to assess the commitments of platform signatories towards member states, we focus on the references in the reports to country-level actions to address COVID-19 related disinformation.

Our three action points are:
Harmonise the reporting. This should include an obligation to clearly highlight new actions in order to facilitate analysis and transparency.
Require signatories to provide country-specific metrics, especially regarding the audience of disinformation, engagement (clickthrough rate, etc.), funding of in-country fact-checking or research activities, and indicators of the prevalence and strength of in-country civil society relationships.
Establish a register of beneficiaries of ad-credits detailing amounts granted, spent, as well as report on the impact of these policies.

[This entry was sourced with minor edits from the Carnegie Endowment’s Partnership for Countering Influence Operations and its baseline datasets initiative. You can find more information here:]