The rise of disinformation, hate speech, conspiracy theories, and extremist content has emerged as a grave threat to democracy, public order, and security. The Internet and social media platforms have provided fertile ground for the proliferation of such harmful content. Whether orchestrated or spontaneous, disinformation and other toxic narratives often find their way through both public and hidden networks, disseminated by individuals driven by greed, hatred, and a thirst for power. These actors may be linked to foreign state actors, criminal networks, or individuals seeking to sow division in society and target marginalized groups.
Identifying and investigating such content, intertwined with criminal activities, poses significant challenges for law enforcement agencies. Currently, there is a lack of specialized platforms to detect, track, and analyze harmful content, insufficient training for police officers assigned to combat this growing problem, and a dearth of long-term peer-to-peer networks for European police officers to collaborate and learn from one another.
The VIGILANT Solution
The VIGILANT project is poised to address these challenges comprehensively. As an interdisciplinary consortium comprising leading universities, commercial entities, not-for-profit research institutes, and training partners, VIGILANT brings together extensive experience garnered from highly successful European FP7 and H2020 projects focused on combating disinformation and related content. This collaboration aims to equip European police authorities with state-of-the-art detection and analysis tools consolidated within a secure, unified platform. Moreover, the project endeavors to enhance institutional knowledge and response capabilities, while establishing a sustainable long-term support network.
Designed and Built for Police Authorities
Central to the VIGILANT consortium are four police authority partners from different regions of Europe, each confronting a unique set of challenges emanating from disinformation linked to criminal activities. Through collaborative efforts such as co-design workshops, development of realistic use cases and scenarios, and rapid testing and evaluation, the VIGILANT platform is being tailor-made to meet the specific needs of these authorities. Furthermore, the VIGILANT project actively seeks to engage with other European police authorities grappling with similar challenges, fostering the creation of a unified platform dedicated to combating disinformation across the continent.
As disinformation continues to pose a serious threat to democratic values, state institutions, and public security, the VIGILANT project emerges as a beacon of hope. By providing European police authorities with cutting-edge detection and analysis tools through a secure and comprehensive platform, bolstering their knowledge and response capabilities, and fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among peers, VIGILANT aims to stem the tide of harmful content that plagues our society. Together, law enforcement agencies across Europe can stand vigilant against disinformation, safeguarding the integrity of our democratic systems and ensuring a safer future for all.
Learn more in the PDF below.