MedDMO anti-disinformation project presented in Limassol

The MedDMO (Mediterranean Digital Media Observatory) research project, presented in Limassol by the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) social informatics research group and the Cyprus Radio and Television Authority, aims to create a new Mediterranean partnership that brings together Cyprus, Greece and Malta in the fight against disinformation.

In his address, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology of CUT, Dr Michael Sirivianos, stated that MedDMO is a two-and-a-half-year project, which started on December 1, 2022 and receives funding from the "Digital Europe" programme of the European Commission, for the creation of national digital media observatories, with the aim of expanding the reach of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO).

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The MedDMO, he continued, acts as a hub for the EDMO, covering the south-eastern borders of Europe, with the participation of Cyprus, Greece and Malta who, apart from their geographical proximity, face common challenges in terms of disinformation campaigns, "which try often to create polarisation around European public debates, such as immigration and border control issues."

He stated that the nine members of the consortium include the National Centre for Research and Technological Development (EKETA) as the Project Coordinator, the Athens Technology Centre S.A., the University of Cyprus, the Cyprus University of Technology, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Times of Malta, the University of Malta, the Greek Hoaxes and the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

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In his address, the Director of the Cyprus Radio and Television Authority, Neophytos Epaminondas, underlined that the MedDMO project is of particular importance, for the defence of democracy and the strengthening of media literacy, to which the Authority attaches particular importance. "By combating misinformation we contribute to strengthening critical thinking and creating active citizens," he added.

He also stated that "fact-checking is of crucial importance in order to ensure that citizens are informed" and that the Authority considers informing citizens, preventing the spread of false news and disinformation, and especially in cultivation and continuous strengthening of citizens' skills.

"The information that we will receive from the programme is of crucial importance for the Authority, not only as an important tool for the better implementation of its responsibilities in the radio and television field, but also especially for the implementation of the new responsibilities that the Authority has recently acquired, as National Coordinator for the implementation and operation of the DSA Regulation (Digital Services Act)", he added.

During the press conference, the MedDMO project was briefly presented by its coordinator, Dr. Nikos Sarris, while the anti-disinformation centre operating at CUT, Fact-check Cyprus, was also presented.

(Photos: CUT)

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