About us

CrossOver tracks and measures the influence of content recommendation algorithms on social media in Belgium, exposing how they can lead to mis- and disinformation. We monitor, investigate, expose and respond to the spread of dubious and nefarious content in both French and Dutch on Youtube, Twitter and more.

This project unites EU DisinfoLab, Apache, SavoirDevenir* and Check First. Thanks to each member’s experience and speciality, the consortium brings a cohesive approach to the issue of ramping disinformation in French and Dutch.

  • Eu DisinfoLab, is a young independent NGO based in Brussels and focused on researching and tackling sophisticated disinformation campaigns targeting the EU, its member states, core institutions, and core values.
  • Apache is a Belgian independent news outlet in Dutch, asking the questions that commercial media companies avoid. As an independent news medium, it challenges those in power. This is how Apache gives a voice to people who don’t have one. Our investigative journalists take the time needed to expose what goes wrong.
  • Savoir*Devenir is an NGO aiming at empowering citizens through a better understanding of their online presence. It achieves its goals through media and information literacy, digital literacy and internet governance training actions. *Savoir et devenir* is backed by the Savoir*Devenir UNESCO University Chair at the Sorbonne Nouvelle university in Paris.
  • Check First is a Finnish software and methodologies start-up that helps journalists, citizens and policy makers fight disinformation all around the globe. The company was born from a common vision from its co-founders: empower people with quality tools and methodologies in order to slow down the spread of disinformation and learn on the way the best possible techniques to eventually tackle it.

This association of skillsets will permit:

  • Creation of a public cross-media monitoring Dashboard for Belgium. This tool will show which stories are likely to be the most pushed by content recommendation algorithms on Youtube and Twitter
  • Leading of cross-platform and cross-lingual investigations of selected high-priority and high-impact disinformation campaigns identified thanks to the dashboard
  • Organisation of public events, webinars and other communication activities aimed at citizens to raise their awareness of online disinformation and empower them to fight it.
  • Organisation of media and information literacy campaigns and events in French and Dutch
  • Training for journalists working at Apache and those at the Belgian media organisations on the use of state- of-the art tools and techniques to detect and properly debunk disinformation campaigns
  • Production of a Media and Information Literacy Handbook for all

Altogether, these goals are part of the broader objectives of the CrossOver project:

  • Objective 1: To monitor diverse social platforms, detect emerging disinformation in French and Dutch, assess its impact and analyse its instigators, actors, narratives, and targets. This will entail cross-platform application of investigative journalism, open source investigation techniques (OSINT), and social network analysis, in order to identify, uncover, and investigate disinformation campaigns and networks in Belgium but also neighbouring France.
  • Objective 2: To carry out timely disclosure of disinformation campaigns and to undertake a rich programme of public communication activities. In particular, this includes the creation of a dedicated project web site in French, Dutch, and English and the high-impact, wide disclosure of the investigative findings through small and large national and regional media, EDMO, and multiple other dissemination channels. This will be complemented by events, webinars, newsletter, social media campaigns, and other dissemination activities.
  • Objective 3: To undertake media and information literacy activities at national/regional level in French and Dutch. In particular, citizen- and school-children oriented media and information literacy materials and campaigns will be organised, complemented by journalist and MIL trainer modules and events. CrossOver will also create localised versions of existing MIL materials produced by EDMO, as well as contribute new citizen-oriented MIL materials in French and Dutch to EDMO.
  • Objective 4: To sustain the CrossOver Belgian and French multidisciplinary team and its already committed community of over 30 partners and experts, as well as preserve its independence. Namely, CrossOver will formulate and begin to explore a strategy for long-term sustainability of the disinformation monitoring and disclosure activities, the CrossOver stakeholder engagement activities, its web presence, media and information literacy, and policy-oriented activities. From its very inception, CrossOver has been formulated as an Action independent of national governments, social platforms, and other European and national activities.