Tackling Disinformation in Times of Crisis: The European Commission’s Response to the Covid-19 Infodemic and the Feasibility of a Consumer-centric Solution



Since 2016, the European Commission has sought to take a proactive stance in addressing disinformation, with this stance evidently influenced by the divisive nature of disinformation and its ability to dissuade participation and trust in democratic institutions. Yet as the coronavirus pandemic brought fear and uncertainty to Europe and the wider world, how well equipped was the Commission’s approach for the onslaught of health disinformation which accompanied the pandemic? Reflecting on the EU’s soft law approach both before and after this ‘Infodemic,’ this article critically analyses the inherent difficulties in regulating disinformation and looks ahead to the Commission’s proposed approach into the future. Finally, considering these inherent regulatory difficulties and the impact of the Infodemic, this paper reflects upon the feasibility of a ‘consumer-centric’ solution to tackling disinformation in the European Union.


Covid-19fundamental rightsfreedom of expressionDigital Services ActEuropean Commissionfree speechdisinformationcontent moderationdigital regulation
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 3
  • Page/Article: 18–33
  • DOI: 10.36633/ulr.675
  • Published on 12 Oct 2021
  • Peer Reviewed