Flemish government devotes over €3 million to fight against disinformation

The government of Flanders is committing over 3 million euros to support five projects in the fight against disinformation, Flemish Media Minister Benjamin Dalle (CD&V, Flemish Christian Democrats) reports.

Last year, the government of Flanders decided to use 35 million euros in relaunch funds to prepare the media sector for the digital future. Some of those funds were set aside for projects on disinformation, or the deliberate distribution of false information. 

Following a call for projects, five projects totalling €3.15 million have now been selected. The projects involve all kinds of partners, ranging from media companies to universities, colleges and knowledge centres. ​ 

One example is the "First Aid for Doubt" project in which several universities (KUL, VUB, and UA) and several editors (VRT/Knack) join forces with technology player Textgain and fact-checking platform deCheckers to make the growing group of doubting media users more resilient against disinformation. 

Overall, the aim of the five projects is to provide more insight into how media users perceive disinformation, how they interact with it and how editors and journalists can detect and fact-check disinformation faster and more efficiently.

"Disinformation is very widespread in our modern society. It is often used with wrong intentions and sometimes even as a weapon of war. The impact on our society is hard to overestimate," Minister Dalle said. 

"We want to support editors, journalists and organisations in dealing with disinformation more efficiently and reacting faster in a digital environment, where it is becoming increasingly easy to spread disinformation. We also want to teach news users to be more resilient in dealing with disinformation," the minister concluded.



#FlandersNewsService | Flemish Minister for Youth, Media and Brussels Affairs Benjamin Dalle © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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