The recent published report Pandemic, war and more: 18 months of disinformation provides an overview of the main disinformation topics, narratives and most viral false news detected by the EDMO fact-checking network between June 2021 and November 2022. The report results from an analysis of the 18 EDMO Monthly Fact-checking Briefs published by the end of 2022. The monthly briefs identify trends and narratives in disinformation at the EU level on the basis of the information provided by the members of the EDMO Fact-checking network on their fact-checking work at the national level.
According to the report, the main topic of disinformation detected in 2022 was the war in Ukraine, reaching 59% of the total detected disinformation in March 2022. Two other major disinformation themes in 2022 were COVID-19, reaching the highest percentage in December 2021 (51,5% of the total disinformation detected) and in January 2022 (46.5%) in correspondence with the winter wave, and climate change. The latter peaked in August 2022, when the heat waves hit Europe during the summer.
A common aspect of the disinformation detected about the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and climate change is that the main narratives tend to persist in time, finding new ways to emerge, often exploiting most newsworthy trends in the mainstream media.
The EDMO fact-checking network now counts 37 fact-checking organizations, covering 25 EU Member States and Norway.
The special brief From the pandemic to the war in Ukraine: one year and a half of countering disinformation has been translated into all 24 EU languages with the collaboration of the EDMO Hubs. All versions are available on the EDMO website.