In the interest of promoting citizen empowerment in the age of disinformation, this report seeks to understand what disinformation is, why its effects are so damaging, and how policymakers can tackle its negative impacts. Underpinned by the hypothesis that citizens can and should be empowered by better information production, consumption, and circulation, this report addresses two research questions:
• Which tools, initiatives and policies are already working to help citizens become more
critical consumers of information?
• How can policymakers and practitioners be better informed on systemic, long-term
approaches to deal with disinformation?
To answer these questions, the 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.
When a thousand people believe some made-up story for one month, that's fake news. When a billion people believe it for a thousand years, that's a religion, and we are admonished not to call it "fake news" in order not to hurt the feelings of the faithful (or incur their wrath).