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Reports Hub

Avaaz Disinfo Hub

Disinformation has the potential to change public opinion, amplify an issue, and even change the course of elections.

These attacks sow division, disparage organizations and individuals, and promote dangerous inaccuracies. But our movement of over 50 million Avaazers is the force we need to counter this. Together, we’re correcting the record and holding tech companies and governments accountable!

Latest reports How are we fighting disinfo?

Investigative
Reports

Investigation finds a fake news tidal wave in 2020 could be bigger than 2016 — unless Facebook redoubles effort to curb disinformation and implement Correct the Record immediately.
A new study reveals that half of the viral fake news in Brazil originated in the US and how misinformation may be reducing vaccination rates in Brazil.
Tsunami of hate speech hits Indians on Facebook who are in danger of losing their citizenship.
EU wide disinformation networks reaching half a billion views ahead of EU elections taken down after Avaaz investigation.
WhatsApp was the primary social network in Spain as the source of false, misleading, racist or hateful posts in the run up to Spanish elections in 2019.
Disinformation and fake news stories in the Yellow Vest Facebook groups and pages reached over 105 million views in a five month period.
A proposal calling on tech platforms to work together with fact-checkers to correct everyone exposed to false or misleading content.

The Scale of the Disinfo Problem

Disinformation continues to impact our democracies at a massive scale.

0
estimated views with disinformation detected by our team

Christoph Scott, Campaign Director at Avaaz, discusses disinformation campaigning that jeopardized the legitimacy of the EU elections.

How are we fighting disinfo?

We identify misinformation

We identify disinformation

We are writing robust reports and holding social media companies accountable. Platforms must agree to prioritize transparency, but until they do, our team is dedicated to uncovering the scale of the problem.


We oversee and hold tech companies and governments accountable

We oversee and hold tech companies and governments accountable

By ensuring third-party oversight with teeth, we can verify that tech companies are doing their utmost to manage and mitigate pervasive disinformation and manipulation in our privately-owned public squares.


We establish a civil-liability framework

We establish a civil-liability framework

Through our reporting, advocacy, and legal team, our community is paving the way for an international civil-liability framework to deter disinfo campaigns in a space that currently has no direct consequences for running them.

How we
can protect
ourselves

The urgent threat of disinformation and how we can protect ourselves

Disinformation spreads distrust, fear, and lies. But the more we know about it, the more we can stop it -- share this briefing with friends and family to educate them on the disinformation threat. And read on to see how you to protect yourself!

Read briefing

Counteracting Disinformation:
Correcting the Record

Independent studies have shown that disinformation has become such an unprecedented threat to our democracies, because on social media false information spreads up to six times faster than the truth. So even if fact-checked and found untrue -- the millions of people who have seen the false content in the first place will likely never find out that they have been misled.

But the solution is simple: Platforms themselves must inform users and push effective corrections to each and every person who saw the false information in the first place. Newspapers publish corrections right on their own pages, television stations on their own airwaves; platforms should do the same on their own channels. No one else can do it.

Correcting the record is the most powerful action platforms can take to restore the public’s trust and to protect our democracies.

Corrections work.

Multiple peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that effective corrections can reduce and even eliminate the effects of disinformation. Studies attempting to replicate the often discussed ’backfire effect’ -- where corrections entrenched false beliefs -- have instead found the opposite to be true. Meanwhile, researchers are converging best practices for effective corrections.

In our view, correcting the record would be a five-step process:

  • Define

    The obligation to correct the record would be triggered where:

    • Independent fact checkers verify that content is false or misleading;

    • A significant number of people -- e.g. 10,000 -- viewed the content.

  • Detect

    Platforms must:

    • Deploy an accessible and prominent mechanism for users to report disinformation;

    • Provide independent fact checkers with access to all content that has reached e.g. 10,000 or more people.

  • Verify

    Platforms must work with independent, third-party verified fact-checkers to determine whether reported content is disinformation, as defined by the EU, within 24 hours.

  • Alert

    Each user exposed to verified disinformation should be notified using the platform’s most visible notification standard.

  • Correct

    Each user exposed to disinformation should receive a correction that is of at least equal prominence to the original content, and that follows best practices which could include:

    • Offering reasoned alternative explanation, keeping the users worldview in mind;

    • Emphasizing factual information while avoiding, whenever possible, repeating the original misinformation;

    • Securing endorsement by a media outlet or public figure the user is likely to trust.

Governments protect consumers and participants in financial and energy markets from false and misleading information, including by making it possible to issue corrections when misinformation could influence people’s decisions. We should offer our democracies the same protections we offer our markets.

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We did it —
Europe resists!

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