How would you describe the mission and expertise of your organization in the field of media literacy/ critical thinking/ fact checking/ countering disinformation?
Debunk and expose disinformation, educate citizens for the sake of critical thinking, and create safer society. Work with stakeholder to improve policy. The birth of Debunk EU was a direct response to coordinated, mostly Kremlin-sponsored, disinformation and propaganda efforts in the Baltic states. The necessity of such measures arose from the geopolitical context in the countries which have been a target of Russian disinformation campaigns for decades. This issue was discussed in the local political arena, and documented in annual reports by the State Security Department in Lithuania. However, in Lithuania, for example, there were no large-scale unified efforts to deal with the challenge: due to the low frequency of the reports, the subsequent media coverage only covered a short span of a year, whereas political conversations were overwhelmed by other subjects, and content produced by fact-checking journalists, because of the resource-intensive nature of disinformation debunking, was not regular enough to reach and, consequently, to inform and educate society about the dangers it is unnoticeably exposed to. Taking all these factors into consideration, in 2017, a team of highly qualified disinformation experts and IT development professionals united under Debunk EU project to start collaboratively countering the ever-increasing issue of disinformation in Lithuania.
What are the main resources developed by your organization you’d be willing to share? (e.g. reports, analyses, scripts, educational materials, video clips, webinars… Please share the links.)
We have developed Debunk EU platform which helps to automate processes and counter disinformation much more efficiently. We publish reports and articles for the media. And we receive high readership with our content.
Which are, in your opinion, the three biggest current challenges related to countering disinformation in your country?
- Funding to sustain organization, have resources to counter and scale operations.
Could you name three solutions that you implemented or else want to recommend as an advice how to counter disinformation, strengthen societies’ critical thinking skills and build civil resilience to disinformation?
- Use automation tools to improve efficiency and do reports that none has done before.
What are the top three events or dates you have witnessed this year that have caused an intensification of disinformation activities?
- NATO trainings.
In your opinion, which future three dates/events are likely to bring about the intensification of disinformation activities in 2020-2021?
- NATO Defender,
- Nord stream,
- Energy sector, elections.
What are the prevailing disinformation narratives you have observed in the media space this year.
We analyzed 20 k + content pieces connected with COVID disinformation in 3 Baltic countries.
Have you been relying on any fact-checking tools? If yes, please describe them or share the links.
Debunk EU platform is core tool to work. Now we operate in 6 countries.
Would you like to highlight any of the disinformation cases you have witnessed/ discovered/ debunked?
Until now we have debunked 250 + cases of disinformation.
In your opinion, who are the best performing actors – in your country, as well as in the EU – playing crucial roles in the field of media literacy today and why?
NGOs and media.
Interview from June, 2020.