25 August 2021

Video blog by Michael O'Flaherty: tackling disinformation

In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty points to the urgent need to tackle disinformation. He provides examples of what can be done to combat disinformation, including what the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights could contribute to this challenge.


Disinformation – or telling lies to do harm – is in the news right now. It’s getting a lot of attention – including, of course, because of the rise of social media, but also because of the peculiar context of COVID.

I welcome that disinformation, that can do such damage to our societies, is today getting the attention of our policymakers. The pushback has to have many dimensions. In the first place it’s about us – we have to make sure that we are not multipliers of lies through our own carelessness on social media. We recognise that some extreme speech has to be taken down, but of course always with full respect for freedom of expression.

And then there are the many other ways in which we can resist lies. The Fundamental Rights Agency is investing in these. For instance, we’re focusing on the need for and how to achieve impeccable data: the truth. We’re also looking for a number of years now about how we can much more effective communicators of our message. And we’re investing in media literacy.

If you’d like to find out more about the work of the Fundamental Rights Agency in pushing back against fake news, have a look at our website.