“Fight for the Net” a card game on disinformation and misinformation – Bigstage 06 2022

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22 June 2022 | Start 13:55 CEST | SISSA Main Auditorium | Video recording | Transcript
BigStage 2022 overview

Session teaser

  • Improve stakeholder’s communication and participation through role playing
  • Explore potential future technological application through speculative design
  • Improve stakeholders communication through immersive and experiential communication.

Session description

The talk will wrap-up with insights on the design of “Fight for the Net” a card game on disinformation and misinformation developed by Elena Falomo in collaboration with Matthias Ketteman, Alessia Arcuri and John Philip Sage (graphic design) and Dino Bianchin (game design) and with the support of the Goethe Institute.


online presentation

Further reading


  • Elena Falomo

Video record



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>> NADIA TJAHJA: Up next, in the main stage, it is a YOUthDIG 2022 participant and she will bring to the BigStage the importance of art and interventions in the discourse of Internet Governance. Elana, the floor is yours.

>> ELENA FALOMO: Let me share my screen. All right. Yeah.

We can get started.

Today I would like to talk about the importance of art and design as powerful tools for the betterment of Internet Governance and in bringing new perspective when it comes to designing different online policies.

A little bit about me, I am Elena Falomo, an artist and design researcher and a participant of YOUthDIG but unfortunately three days ago I contracted COVID so I am giving you this talk from our accommodation from isolation mode. If I cough, please excuse me. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather.

Without further ado, let’s explore what we can learn from art and design within the context of Internet Governance.

Art and design have always been at the forefront of exploring different cultural and societal shifts that can raise from the application of different technologies. We have seen how for example this was a very animated discussion within YOUthDIG, how deep fakes can be used to animate the 19th century, portrait photography and also different artists have explored the use of product design, to explore how different robots can interact with us within the context of the homes as IoT products and also how we could employ artificial intelligence and image recognition to identify weapons and weapons within war context.

These are all great applications that can show you how art and design can provide us different scenarios and speculations and glimpses into the future.

This is possible thanks to a framework that was introduced in the book speculative everything, that basically looks at the future as a cone of different probable and plausible and possible scenarios, and tries to identify a preferable cone within this plethora of possibilities to bring back to the present through a process called back casting to show us how a specific future can be relevant in the present to mobilize different discourse.

Within Civil Society and also this, I argue, could be relevant for policy and decision making.

However, this technique that’s come with the draw backs, and often speculation, it brings us in the realm of dystopia, looking too much in the future, detaching from us the present, it makes us forget about the current challenges of today and you can fall into a techno solutionism which can introduce further societal issues.

Way to address this in the way of collaboration between policymaker, artists and designers, it is what I call participated futures and presents, which are a set of tools and mechanisms to collaborate through multistakeholder participation, to create the futures, to explore different scenarios of applied technologies that could be relevant for policy and decision making.

I’m going to introduce you to some projects. The first being the AI justice matric created by Yasmine Boudlaf, it explores how AI and policymaking around AI, how it can be further explored through intersectional lenses and shows how this different technology is reproducing different systematic biases and how different – wants to property policy and decision makers of looking that the issue, looking at regulating this technology through intersectional lenses and looking at this from different points of view and from the points of view from different marginalized community to understand the intersections of different photo right now outside problems that are raised within the implementation of artificial intelligence.

Another great project, it is the feminist dataset that was created by Caroline Sinders, it is a project that’s propositional in the sense that it is trying to address the bias, in the artificial intelligence by creating a dataset to train, to frame different kinds of algorithms, with the feminist and intersectional data to remind the different biases that algorithm can showcase it was created through workshops and participatory exercises involving different communities and groups of marginalized people and this is a great example of how problemizing different space can actually help us set the standards for addressing an issue such as bias in artificial intelligence.

Another project that I would like to talk about, it is from my own personal experience, and it is fight for the net, it is a card game I codeveloped with the academic and scholars that is actually doing the talk this afternoon’s session on disinformation. Make sure not to miss that. It is a card game around disinformation and the disinformation online and why a card game is so important. The card games and games in general, they can act as prebunking tool. They can act as a different form of inoculation to inform different groups of stakeholders about the dangers of misinformation and misinformation online by exposing them to different strategies and actions that the dis information and misinformation actor cans operate.

This helps different groups of people to develop critical thinking. Moreover, a card game is a great tool for age inclusive participation and it is very accessible tool to educate people on the topic as well as providing a lenses on learning opportunity which of course increases the permanence of the lessons that can be learned from the space.

This information and dis information, it is a complex, complicated landscape and can be tackled through different perspective. From the policymaking perspective, and also by the designing better technical solution or by fostering the cultural and design, for example by exposing different patterns, they are designed with the interfaces that we deal with on a daily basis and also through different economic models, education model, et cetera.

And so for me, when designing this game, it was really important to give players the opportunity to role play as somebody else, not only as, for example, themselves, whether they are Civil Society members, whether they are policy experts but to kind of shift perspectives to create basic, mutual understanding and to kind of flatten the playing field of who gets to express themselves around policy, around the misinformation and the disinformation. Matter of fact, within the game, players can play as undercover researcher, as debunkers, and thus this shifts the power structure and the kind of propositions that players are given.

It is really interesting to see after a play session the discussion around different counter strategy or countering the spread of misinformation and disinformation to see how much different players are empowered by the shift in role play.

This is super, super relevant when you talk about the multistakeholder involvement, when we – because when we give hierarchal shift, we actually make different people not only the card but giving them a chance to actually participate and to be part of the code design process.

Another interesting thing that art and design can help, it is this cultural and language shift that they can provide. With this game, in fact, I wanted to work on the creation of also a shared dictionary of disinformation and misinformation and when we talk about multistakeholder participation, this is extremely important to reflect on the language that’s shared amongst the different people who are sitting at the table and to make sure that the language that we use is accessible and shared by different participants. I think in this art and design, it is great vessels of leveling the playing field.

Another interesting aspect around the language, this is very relevant for the misinformation and the disinformation, the field, it is the fact that while designing this card game I realized how catchy the misinformation and disinformation language is, we have words such as strolling, phishing, scapegoat, it is catchy and sticky in our collective imagination whereas the counter-strategies, they are lengthy, non-accessible terminology around them. And I think that a collective entity we have the duty to also further the language in this realm to make sure that we have plenty of language to address misinformation and disinformation which is shared amongst different stakeholders.

Another project I wanted to introduce is the Code 2022 project, it is a project based in three different countries, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and it is directly focused to policymakers and decision makers around reclaiming digital agencies. Different designer, artists come together to create projects around digital governance. Some examples are the Invisible Visible Project which creates a physical meta force of online tracking by following different visitors in an exhibition space and creating behavioral profiles very much like online trackers do to expose the online behavior through a physical and much more close to the metaphor.

Another project, DSMA Unlimited, it is a fictional company that wants to expose the lobbying process behind two digital markets and service act by allowing Civil Society members to buy an article for very little money, to change the wording, very much like big tech company companies have been doing in the past. Through this playful and game identified interaction and wants to raise awareness around this process that happens for the worse or betterment of a piece of legislation.

To recap what I introduced briefly during my presentation, it is that I believe that art and design can be useful tools for policy and decision makers, but different stakeholders, and also for different stakeholders involved in governance design to allow them to experience a different scenario, a different future that can be explored collectively. Moreover, art and design can help us look into the future and through word building we can imagine different outcomes of our interventions. It will better our decision making process and prevent negative outcomes for the future. Moreover, art and design through role playing can increase true participation of different stakeholder groups by subverting the normal hierarchical processes that are present within governance.

I would like to open up the floor for any questions in the last few minutes to see if there are comments, question, feedback for me. I would like to hear your opinion.

>> Where can I buy this game?

>> It is not for sale. It is still –

>> Sorry, missed that.

>> You can find it – yes, I should have plug made game better. You can find it, it is just a game in development. You can find it at fight for d.net or email me at falomoelena@gmail.com and I’ll send you a print version of the game.

>> I just wanted to say thank you for this presentation. I think it ties in really nicely with the earlier panel today on the future of multistakeholder model and there are discussions, questions, early stage proposal of how some of the models that different institutions have for the decision making can and need to evolve in the future. I think getting out of the box, sometimes approaches like this, it is really probably a good thing to bring. I’m really glad you were able to bring it to EuroDIG and, yeah, maybe I’ll get in contact offline about maybe bringing it the RIPE community as well where this discussion is also going.

>> Thank you. Thank you very much.

Are there more questions? Comments? Feedback? I think it is time to wrap up I believe.

Feel free to reach out to me. I hope to continue this information in the future.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.

>> Thank you. It was a really nice presentation.

I will now hand over the mic to Nadia who will present – we’ll bring to the stage the youth participants so that they can present the youth messages for 2022.