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The Debunk EU initiative, which has been operating in Lithuania for more than two years, is expanding to neighboring countries – its partners in Latvia and Estonia published the first research material on disinformation last week. In Latvia, the initiative operates under the name Atmaskots.lv, in Estonia – under the name Valeinfo: Paljastatud.
Debunk EU enters Latvian and Estonian field of disinformation
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“Over the last decade, the Baltic States have become a constant target of disinformation spread by Russia. The myth that we are of little interest, however, is denied by statistics on targeted attacks implemented on states and societies. Lithuania is famous to be one of the first countries to start the fight against disinformation, therefore sharing the acquired experience and resources with other countries is a consistent and logical step,” says Viktoras Dauksas, the head of Debunk EU.

Debunk EU initiative aims to reduce the influence of disinformation in cooperation with the media, the public and the state. This is implemented by exposing its main sources and patterns, as well as increasing civic resilience by equipping citizens with a tool to identify and debunk false stories. Debunk EU has entered Latvia and Estonia in cooperation with Delfi – debunked disinformation material will be published here every week.

According to Viktoras Dauksas, today’s development of Debunk EU is not limited to geography. “We feel that we can implement our potential even more effectively, so it is time to expand in terms of the scope and quality of our activities. Therefore, we plan to conduct and announce even more local and international disinformation-related researches, and soon we intend to introduce local podcasts as well.”

Debunk EU has developed the tool based on artificial intelligence which daily analyzes more than 30,000 a day in Lithuanian and Russian, from now on – in Latvian and Estonian as well. Local linguists worked closely with technology professionals to implement the new languages, helping artificial intelligence to better understand and learn the semantic meanings.

“We seek Latvia and Estonia to be just the beginning of our development. In the near future, we plan to include at least one more country in the project, so today we are looking for the country which faces disinformation challenges similar to ours,” reveals the head of Debunk EU.

Debunk EU

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. After acquiring funding from Google DNI and DELFI, the largest online news organisation in the Baltics, the team has developed a highly advanced tool based on artificial intelligence, which can analyze more than 30,000 articles a day, by spotting the fake news in 2 minutes after the publication.

Debunk EU was noticed by such media giants as “The Financial Times” and “Deutsche Welle”. The tool has been presented in 17 countries, including the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Serbia, etc.

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