NTCenter, the leading organisation behind De Facto, has now two staff members with access to the platform and tools of the EU Observatory for disinformation (Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis – SOMA). Another account is handed out to a De Facto partner, and we stand by to support any De Facto partner who would like to apply for membership as an organisation. We submitted an application request on behalf of the De Facto project and we provided full disclosure both on De Facto and NTCenter – mission, activities, sources of financing, ownership and management structure. And we were very happy to receive an almost immediate response – we believe that a key asset we can bring with us to the team at SOMA is our unique approach on disinformation: not only dealing with fact-checking and source-checking, but also looking into the possible motivation, the cognitive processes behind attempted manipulation, and the potential long-term effect on us via the education and training systems.
SOMA is working with a dedicated collaborative platform that is used primarily by leading media organisations and investigative journalists worldwide. The platform is based on Twitter and is known in the media circles as CrowdTangle (closed-access platform, members only) and it is widely used by investigative journalists and fact-checkers. Some of you may have seen already the Chrome extension plugin bearing the same name. And there is a range of other tools integrated in that platform which are now available to us too. Which is why we at NTCenter are currently debating what should be our strategy forward: alongside our intensive work on De Facto, we have collected a vast range of tools which help in checking and analysing all aspects of information items. We will, without any doubt, channel the benefits into De Facto. But is seems that there is also a handful of opportunities for future development which need to be carefully looked at.
As we thank our new SOMA family for doing us the honour of accepting our membership application, we are looking forward to this new and exciting collaboration opportunity, and to the new contacts and professional exchange at SOMA.