Fighting disinformation through technology and education
Thanks to technology, anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection has the ability to obtain information without limits or territorial barriers. However, despite the fact that we have increased access to content, news and direct sources, paradoxically, our society is more misinformed than ever before in the history of mankind.
A major challenge for any democratic society, disinformation is further exacerbated by the ability to disseminate all manner of content, whether it is false, unsubstantiated, erroneous, manipulated or fabricated. This capacity to make inaccurate information, photos or data go viral in a matter of seconds through social networks or messaging apps demonstrates that we are dealing with a tool that has an extremely powerful capacity for dissemination.
If we are to solve this problem, we must encourage a critical spirit, attacking it at the root. We must work from the outset to mainstream digital literacy in the education system, teaching students to filter sources, instilling critical thinking and making sure they know how to determine when information is – or is not – truthful.
Technology is crucial in the fight against misinformation, but equally essential is the involvement of administrations, companies, technology platforms, verification agencies and, of course, citizens themselves.
WTISD celebrates the many posibilites that ICTs bring to the world
The rapid pace of technological development has changed the way we live, work, communicate and educate our children. In fact, it is affecting almost every area of the economy, society and culture. 17th May 2022, we celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD). Its purpose is “to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) can bring to societies and economies across the world”. (Source: UN).
Whitney Phillips is assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University. She researches and teaches class on media literacy, mis-and disinformation, political communication, and digital ethics.
Laura Manley is the Director of the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Carmela Ríos is a professor and consultant at various universities and institutions in different areas that deal with social media.
Audrey Tang is a civic hacker and Taiwan’s Digital Minister in charge of Social Innovation. She is known for revitalizing global open source communities such as Perl and Haskell.
We talk with Alberto Barrón-Cedeño, senior assistant Professor at Alma Mater Studiorum, at the Università di Bologna. We discuss why fact checking and plagiarism detection is so important.
To tackle disinformation, some organisations now specialise in information verification by monitoring and checking content and data circulating on the internet. This information verification process is known as fact-checking.
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Dealing with disinformation
This research was based on the analysis of five different case studies featuring initiatives led by a variety of stakeholders, who apply a multidimensional approach to address the problem of disinformation. This report is an attempt to understand such a pressing issue for our democracies.
Post truth & fake news
The explosion of the Internet and twenty-four hour news yielded a veritable growth of anecdotes and stories, some more believable than others. Suspicion was the rule. Read chapter 3 of the book “Faster than the Future – Facing the digital age” by Digital Future Society.
Digital Future Society organized a debate to reflect on the evolution of the popularization of false information in the digital age, with the European Commission and the main organizations that work to detect and stop disinformation: Newtral, Efe Verifica and Verificat.