EDMO, the EDMO Hubs and vera.ai: united against disinformation 

EDMO - at the forefront in countering disinformation

EDMO (short for European Digital Media Observatory) was established in June 2020 and ran until 30 November 2022. It is expected to start a second term shortly, either by the end of 2022 or early in 2023. This primary EU initiative in the fight against disinformation is coordinated by the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

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Florence viewed from the EUIPhoto: Jochen Spangenberg

The primary aims and tasks of EDMO are to bring together “fact-checkers, media literacy experts, and academic researchers to understand and analyse disinformation, in collaboration with media organisations, online platforms and media literacy practitioners”. All this is done to “contribute to a deeper understanding of disinformation relevant actors, vectors, tools, methods, dissemination dynamics, targets, and impact on society.”

With this as goals, it is evident and obvious that EDMO and vera.ai are a perfect fit for collaboration. 

Cooperation and exchanges between the vera.ai project and EDMO have been operational since the very beginning of vera.ai. This is facilitated because of a number of links that exist between the two, such as:

  • ATC is a partner in both EDMO and vera.ai.
  • vera.ai's Kalina Bontcheva (USFD) and Jochen Spangenberg (DW, also the author of this article) are members of EDMO's Advisory Board.
  • Various vera.ai individuals have conducted workshops and trainings for EDMO in the past.
  • The platform that is used for collaborative verification by EDMO and the EDMO Hubs is Truly Media. Truly Media, in turn, is provided by ATC and Deutsche Welle in a public private partnership.

All this ensures frequent exchanges and close working relationships between EDMO and vera.ai personnel, guaranteeing that information, know-how and activities are exchanged both ways. 

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EDMO - United against disinformationEDMO consortium

The EDMO Hubs

In total, there are now 14 so-called EDMO Hubs, covering – taken together – the entire European Union’s 27 member states. 

A Hub can either concentrate its activities on a single country (e.g. the Italian Digital Media Observatory IDMO focusses primarily on Italy); a region (e.g. the Nordic Observatory for Digital Media and Information Disorder (NORDIS) is a consortium of researchers and fact-checkers from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland); or a linguistic area (such as the newly launched GADMO - German-Austrian Digital Media Observatory - that concentrates on disinformation in the German language). 

EDMO Hubs covering all EU member statesImage: EDMO / ATC

Cooperation and links between vera.ai and the EDMO Hubs

Various vera.ai project partners are members in EDMO Hubs (note: this list is not necessarily complete).

  • AFP is involved in numerous Hubs (almost too many to mention here), such as EDMO BeLux; CEDMO; DEFACTO; and the newest awardees GADMO - German-Austrian Digital Media Observatory for Germany and Austria; BROD - the Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory of Digital Media; ADMO - the Adria Digital Media Observatory operating in Croatia and Slovenia; HDMO-Lakmusz - the Hungarian Digital Media Observatory; and MedDMO - the Mediterranean Digital Media Observatory..
  • USFD is a partner in the Ireland Hub
  • University of Amsterdam is involved in BENEDMO (covering Belgium and the Netherlands).
  • KINIT, AFP and ATC are involved in CEDMO (where Jochen Spangenberg is chair of the Advisory Board).
  • EUDL is an EDMO BeLux member (with ATC and AFP).
  • ONTO, AFP and ATC are participants in BROD - the Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory of Digital Media.
  • ATC and CERTH - together with AFP - are involved in the newly launched MedDMO (the Mediterranean Digital Media Observatory, covering Greece, Malta and Cyprus) which had its kick-off meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece on 1 Dec 2022.

Expected benefits

These direct links and overlaps are expected to be hugely beneficial and valuable to both the vera.ai consortium as well as the EDMO Hubs. While vera.ai can expect guidance from requirements and needs coming from the involved fact-checking organisations and initiatives, they in turn can count on improved services and research results coming out of vera ai. This can be in the form of stand-alone solutions (such as a further enhanced verification plug-in), or components being integrated into Truly Media, the collaborative verification platform that is made  available to all EDMO Hubs for their collaboration and verification work.


Author: Jochen Spangenberg (DW)


Additional material and sources:

EU: Hubs of the European Digital Media Observatory now extend to the whole EU27

EDMO: Overview of all EDMO Hubs

About the EU’s Digital Europe Programme which funds the EDMO initiatives

EDMO home page

vera.ai is co-funded by the European Commission under grant agreement ID 101070093, and the UK and Swiss authorities. This website reflects the views of the vera.ai consortium and respective contributors. The EU cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.