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Informing the Disinfo Debate: A Policy Guide For Protecting Human Rights

by Access Now; Civil Liberties Union for Europe, EDRi

Published | December 2021

Tackling mis- and disinformation


"Informing the Disinfo Debate" is not just explaining disinformation and its effects, but also tackles the roots, especially the role digital technologies play in helping to create, disseminate, and amplify disinformation.

Why read

The report explains how impactful online disinformation and propaganda can be.


In this report, the main methods of manipulation are unpacked that platforms engage in which harm fundamental rights. These methods stem directly from the platforms’ business models and have severe impact on the absolute freedom to form an opinion and freedom of thought. They are:

  • Surveillance-based advertisement, including political advertising
  • Amplification of disinformation online via content recommender systems and personalisation of news content

The first report 2018 is among the first by civil society organisations to point to platforms’ problematic business models as a fundamental factor behind the online manipulation of people’s economic and political choices. There is now a growing consensus that regulatory approaches must address the business model as a foundational matter, as a large number of policy analyses argue.



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