EU actions to tackle COVID-19 disinformation

The EU is committed to protecting societies, citizens and freedoms against hybrid threats, including misinformation and disinformation actions, as underlined in the Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024. The goal is to enhance cooperation in detecting, preventing and countering attacks, while strengthening resilience to these threats.

In the context of growing disinformation activity related to the COVID-19 outbreak, EU institutions have worked to raise awareness of dangers of disinformation and promoted the use of authoritative sources.

In addition, the EU has encouraged online platforms to contribute to the fight against fake news and other misinformation attempts by removing illegal or false contents. This has resulted, among others, in challenging more than 3.4 million suspicious Twitter accounts targeting coronavirus discussions, since the beginning of the pandemic.

The European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy released a joint communication ‘Tackling COVID-19 disinformation – Getting the facts right’ on 10 June 2020 to propose concrete actions to increase the resilience of the EU against the disinformation challenge. These include stepping up EU support to fact-checkers and researchers, strengthening of the EU’s strategic communications capacities and enhancing cooperation with international partners, while ensuring freedom of expression and plurality.