The increase in Disinformation, Fake News and Hate Speech online presents a formidable challenge for European Law Enforcement Agencies, most of whom do not have the necessary investigative tools to combat it. To meet this need, the VIGILANT project is diligently crafting a cutting-edge platform of modular tools to aid police investigators and combat malign online content. Dr. Carolina Scarton (Scientific Coordinator) and Dr. Brendan Spillane (Principal Investigator) of the VIGILANT consortium, recently attended a workshop on Disinformation, Fake News, and Hate Speech held by the Community of European Research and Innovation for Security (CERIS) in Brussels Dr. Spillane provided an overview of the VIGILANT project to the audience of LEAs, police authorities, policymakers and other stakeholders before joining a discussion panel on the threat of disinformation to society.
The workshop served as a convergence point for esteemed researchers, policy makers, and practitioners, who grapple with the intricate societal and technological dimensions of disinformation, fake news, and hate speech. While primarily focusing on internal security, the event addressed the pressing need to counter disinformation and fake news, which have far-reaching implications for the safety of European societies. Resolving this critical issue necessitates an interdisciplinary approach that combines societal capabilities, such as educating individuals about reliable sources of information and exploring the impact of disinformation-induced uncertainties on crisis management, with technological advancements such as VIGILANT to fight against this pervasive threat.
VIGILANT has the potential to revolutionize the technical capabilities of police authorities charged with safeguarding the European information space. Through the platforms innovative design and use of cutting-edge technologies from academia, detecting and analyzing disinformation and other forms of malign content such as hate speech and violent extremism, will become more efficient, all while upholding fundamental rights and ethics. The combination of enhanced prevention, preparedness, and response, coupled with a comprehensive grasp of the human, societal, and technological dimensions, will equip police authorities and other practitioners with cutting-edge capabilities to maintain security.