Play the villain – learn to fight disinformation with news literacy – WS 12 2019
Live and remote audience play a game posing as the villain that creates disinformation and mine people’s trust by polluting the information ecosystem. Key participants will help find the way towards a healthy relation with the news.
The lack of news literacy lies at the root of the disinformation or “fake news” crisis. In this workshop, we will work to address the issue and suggest solutions through a game. Both the live and remote audience will play posing as the “bad guy” that creates disinformation, first through impersonation, then by exploiting people’s emotions. The end goal is to be picked up by mainstream media and successfully mine people’s trust by polluting the information ecosystem. Key participants will help find the way from scepticism to a healthy relation with the news, and debrief participants to offer recommendations and resources to help increase news literacy.
- Info sheet on the game Bad News that will be played at the workshop here The Bad News game
- WAN-IFRA just published a global review of regulatory remedies to the disinformation crisis. More information following the link. Please write to me directly should you have any questions. Tackling disinformation around the world
- On the relation between news literacy and trust: "Many people hope that increasing overall levels of news literacy will reverse the decline in news trust we see in many countries. This sounds like a reasonable assumption, but (...) news literacy may also go hand in hand with a high degree of scepticism. Even if we focus on news production, the more people know about how the news is made, the more knowledgeable they will be about its limitations and imperfections. This may be why we see only a very small increase in trust levels as news literacy increases. Page 37 of the report
- Misinformation and Disinformation Unpacked
- 5 Lessons for Reporting in an Age of Disinformation
First draft news again, on responsibility of individuals:
- Fake news. It’s complicated.
- Cairncross review, on the sustainability of high quality journalism, published in the UK in February 2019. See chapter 2 "The changing market for news" and Recommandations, Pag. 94: "Adults, as well as children and young people, need critical literacy skills to navigate the volume of information online, evaluate it, and decide what it means to them".
- Cairncross review
"Digital literacy should be a fourth pillar of education, alongside reading, writing and maths". Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee final report on Disinformation and fake news published in the UK in February 2019
Michael J. Oghia
- Factitious – a game that tests your news literacy
- GFMD's Internet Governance Resource Centre
- Media Bias/Fact Check
Until 15 May 2019.
Please provide name and institution for all people you list here.
- Elena Perotti, Executive Director, Public Affairs and Media Policy, WAN-IFRA World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
Organising Team (Org Team)
- Marije Arentze
- Clarissa Calderon, Universität Hamburg
- Amali De Silva-Mitchell
- Aslak Gottlieb, Media Research and Innovation Center
- Aleksandar Icokaev, Of counsel DDK, Attorneys at Law, Macedonia
- Narine Khachatryan, STEM Society
- Charalampos Kyritsis, YouthDIG Organiser
- Giacomo Mazzone, EBU-UER European Broadcasting Union
- Michael J. Oghia, Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) – Serbia
- Anna Romandash
- Luc Steinberg, Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom
- Nadia Tjahja, Youth Coalition on Internet Governance, Steering Committee Member (WEOG & EEG)
- Aamir Ullah Khan
- Chris van Hal, Manager of News in Education, www.nieuwsindeklas.nl, The Netherlands
- Sabrina Vorbau, Project Manager European Schoolnet - Belgium
- Marije Arentze
Marije is project manager media literacy at Drog, the team of academics, journalists and media-experts that created the game “Bad News”. In her formation years she built a solid experience in communication and election observation. More on Marije here. Look at her in action at the Media Literacy 360° Forum & Fair in Bratislava in 2018 in this video on 'Vaccinating' news consumers against fake news and disinformation.
- Maartje Spoelstra
Maartje is currently working as a project advisor Media Literary for Children for ECP | Platform voor de Informatiesamenleving. In doing so she has close connections with Netwerk Mediawijsheid. She was always interested in media-literacy, especially in relation to the way stories are being spread. The past few years, both in this job and at her previous job at the Public Library of the Hague, Maartje organised several sessions and lectures on “Fake News”, often in collaboration with DROG. She holds a master Mediastudies and a master in Philosophy. More on Maartje here.
- Derek Bowler
Derek Bowler is Head of Social Newsgathering at the European Broadcasting Union and founder of the Eurovision Social Newswire. Previously a senior journalist & news projects lead at Storyful, he specialises in conflict zone verification and has worked on projects with The New York Times, Washington Post and Google News Labs. He is a graduate of Journalism and New Media from the University of Limerick.
- Lie Detectors
Lie Detectors is a non-profit that works to improve news literacy, increase awareness of misinformation and further the general public’s understanding of the mainstream media industry. It promotes positive and non-political contact between young people and journalists. It does this by sending working journalists into schools to deliver interactive classroom sessions. Lie Detectors won the European Commission’s 2018 EU Digital skills award for its work in education. From Lie Detectors we will have at the workshop either founder and CEO Juliane Von Reppert-Bismarck or programme coordinator Adeline Brion.
- Maartje Spoelstra
Maartje is currently working as a project advisor Media Literary for Children for ECP | Platform voor de Informatiesamenleving. In doing so she has close connections with Netwerk Mediawijsheid. She was always interested in media-literacy, especially in relation to the way stories are being spread. The past few years, both in this job and at her previous job at the Public Library of the Hague, Maartje organised several sessions and lectures on “Fake News”, often in collaboration with DROG. She holds a master Mediastudies and a master in Philosophy. More on Maartje here.
Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.
- Marco Lotti, Geneva Internet Platform
The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:
- are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
- relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
- are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
- are in (rough) consensus with the audience
Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes
See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Here you will find minutes of the most relevant meetings that were held by this Org team.
- Media literacy and news literacy go hand-in-hand and are a solid solution to the disinformation crisis. To educate users – especially younger ones – effectively, the issue needs to be unpacked and correctly framed first. An important first step is to discontinue the use of the misleading expression ‘fake news’ and adopt ‘disinformation’ instead.
- Users are more likely to become critical towards misinformation if they see how such disinformation is constructed practically – by playing, for example, the Bad News Game (as the workshop audience did).
- Disinformation is usually characterised by impersonation, appeal to emotions, polarised framing, a conspiracy mindset towards institutions and/or the media, discreditation of institutions and/or individuals, and trolling behaviour.
- While building news literacy it is difficult to balance between critical thinking and destructive thinking, namely, to balance between awareness raising and a critical mindset towards misinformation on the one hand, and the danger of spreading mistrust or cynicism towards news per se on the other.
Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/sessions/play-villain-learn-fight-disinformation-news-literacy.
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This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.
>> HOST: It is 2:00 p.m. plus two minutes. Welcome everybody. I'm Elena Perotti here from associated news media, WAN-IFRA. I was told to organization this session. As you know by now, we're at last week of EuroDIG. It is about the participation of the audience, we will try as much as possible to make that happen in this workshop as well.
First of all, I would like to, of course, welcome you all. And welcome our remote moderator, Antonio, sitting behind there, he will be moderating the questions that come from the online audience.
Welcome Marco, who is sitting here. Marco is our reporter of this workshop. He will be drafting messages that we will read at the end of this session and hopefully agree on -- agree upon. It is an important part of this process. The messages from all the workshops and sessions will end up in the messages from the Hague. They will be our official contributions to both those messages, the document, and also plenary number 7 that is happening right after this session and is called Online Harms. At 4:30.
So welcome to all of our key participants, as you know, EuroDIG doesn't have speakers, but rather participants that are key to the discussion. First of all, we have Maartje that is our moderator. We have Marije here from Drog. She will help us play the game, Bad News game. And then we have Derek, head of Social Newsgathering at the European Broadcasting Union. And we have Adeline, the manager for Lie Detectors. But you will be learning more about them later on.
Before leaving the floor to Maartje, let me just tell you a little bit about myself and why I'm here.
I work in the media policy and public affairs department at WAN-IFRA, which is the official news media based in Paris. We have had an indication, the operation for a long time. We just rebooted this initiatives towards a more news literacy oriented network. We have a couple of very prominent members of this network right here. We have Christian Hall [sp] from the Netherland Association. And Aslot Gottlieb [sp] that is advising in Denmark for decades now.
Our objective is to bring the conversation to enlarge the conversation, not only to experts but also to students, teachers and ideally families as well around how literacy and news literacy in particular, much more than media literacy can help fight the disinformation fight.
The most important thing about fake news, I think, is to call it the right way. And fake news is not the right name. Fake news is an expression that was weaponized, it has been presented, used, and is being used right now, just to identify content that people don't like, that people don't agree with. So we're going to call it disinformation from now on. I think it is important that we all know this. And secondly, there is no best way to fight a war, because that is what it is, than going behind enemy lines. This is what Marije will let us do, to see how fake news is created, propaganda is invented, used in order to understand what the villain wants us to think. I will leave the floor to Maartje to navigate through the session.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: I think this works. Hello? I'm Maartje I'm coordinators of the safer Internet center in the Netherlands, which is part of the better Internet for kids. From this respect, I am very much interested in preparing children on becoming critical reader of the news. I also worked at the library and given several workshops at schools. To prepare both children and their parents by becoming information for themselves to be more critical and more aware of how news, even if it is true, how it can frame you by antagonizing or using other techniques.
So I'm very enthusiastic about the game that was invented by the organization that Marije works for. It is the organization that created the game. I can understand you are curious through this game. To be honest, everybody likes to play the villain sometimes. I will give the microphone to Marije from Drog.
>> MARIJE ARENTZE: Thanks, Marije for the introduction. Let me start with a warning. I'm going to warn you a bit. Because what I am going to tell you is going to sound counterintuitive, because I teach people how to make their own fake news. We own a few fake news websites at Drog. We manage the first Deutsche Drog army. And we organize event not so long ago where we tried to destroy the European Union elections with the disinformation campaign. If you think I'm a horrible person now, bear with me, I hope I will be able to leave you with good food for thought for after the session.
As I said, we teach people how to make their own fake news and we do this, because we believe the very best way to teach people how disinformation works is by doing it yourself. That's the best way to learn. To learn to think like the bad guy. And this is in one sentence, the entire idea that our company is based on. We put people in the shoes of the fake news monger, in order to try to build mental antibodies against fake news or disinformation in their heads.
This idea is based on the theory of social associate called the inoculation theory. This is to vaccinate people against disinformation, so they can learn to recognize it and build resistance. We developed the Bad News game, it works as follows. You have to spread your own fake news. We are going to play the game in a few minutes.
You have to spread your own disinformation. You have to gain as many followers as possible. At the same time, you have to maintain your credibility as a news source. And over the course of the game, you play through a few badges and the badges correspond with techniques used in the campaign. In this way, you learn to think through the mechanisms that are sometimes used against you at the same time.
We're not just doing this on our own. We're doing research together with University of Cambridge into the so-called mental antibodies against fake news. And our first research shows what we did is we include a prepost survey with the game. The players have to read six news messages two real ones, and three fake ones, judge them on a scale of 1 to 10 if they're reliable or not. You can see there is foe decrease -- no decrease, only slight increase in how much they trust the real news. And sharp decrease in how much they trust the fake news. They do get more resistant to this information after playing our game. This affect is low after one week of playing and after five weeks of playing. This is a promising first step in the international vaccination program against disinformation.
This is the article that we published, it was published last year. It became quickly the most cited article in the history of the journal. The next study on the effect of the game will be published in two weeks in major communications.
This is my colleague who works at University of Cambridge, he was live last week -- last year, on CNN to talk about the workings of the game. Who of you thinks this is real?
Do you think we were on CNN or not? Can I see hands? Who thinks this is real? No one. One person. It is actually real. You can look it up on YouTube, if you want.
If you are interested we have published the game in now 30 languages in total. And junior versions, which can you access by writing/junior after the URL. And now I guess, let's start playing the game.
So as I said, I am going to ask you to put yourself in the shoes of the bad guys. You are going to have to shut down your moral compass for the next 20 minutes. You will have to be as bad as possible. And you will feel uncomfortable at some point. That's a good thing. That means it is working.
So let's play. Okay.
Hey! We're here for the position of disinformation tycoon. We have been recruited as a fake news monger, so to say. We're angry about something, right? Are we still a bit doubting or are we like yeah, let's do this, let's disrupt. Yeah, I post a frustrated tweet. This Government is a complete and utter failure. Are we angry enough about the Government or do we want another? Can I show hands, let's post this? More, what are the other options? Let's click not angry enough. The mainstream media is one massive conspiracy fake news. That's a good one. Go for that one. Tweet this.
So we gained 25 followers, that is a good start. A start is a start.
We need to build up a bit of credibility, of course, because we want to be a serious news source. We're ready for this. Yeah. Okay. We're going to skip the survey, because that will take an extra 20 minutes, which we don't have time for in this session, so no thank you.
Okay. Are we going to fake an official Twitter account or impersonate someone important. Who is for faking a Twitter account? And impersonating someone important? Good, that is the majority. [Chuckling]. Okay. After long deliberation with my generals, I have decided to declare war on North Korea, Kim Jong-un. Let's go for the other options. NASA meteorite alert, large space object set to hit the U.S. West Coast, be safe. Or the last one, we're announcing immediate and immediate permanent cancellation of SpongeBob SquarePants, I'm ready. Who is going for Trump, NASA, Nickelodeon? I think NASA is the winner. Sorry?
Let's go for that one, yeah. Did we notice NASA slightly different user name? You can scroll up to check it, a bit? Check the reactions. Jane, medical doctor says ah, help, watch out, everyone be safe, pray for U.S.A., hashtag. This looks serious, I hope this isn't the Apocalypse says Ben the engineer. Moving on. How are we feeling, are we feeling good or I have moral objections? Who says I am feeling good about this? Yeah, good. Very good.
Okay. So we can go on like this, of course. Do we want to go pro? Yeah? Good. [Chuckling].
Let's shall we start a new site or start a blog? Which is more credible? News site? Right, very good. Yeah. Good choice. Let's pick a name. We can go for the cosmos post. Or the Honest Truth Online. Or the best words. Who goes for the best words? Or the Dutch post or what was the other one, Honest Truth Online. Okay. Honest Truth Online. Perfect.
Okay. Are we going to be the editor-in-chief in anonymous goon? Editor-in-chief. Good. A slogan, then. Now online, Honest Truth Online, bursting the mainstream media bubble. Or now online! A concerned citizen's personal opinion. Nah. Not that one. Or what they don't want you to read. Ooh! That's a good one, right? Go for that one. [Chuckling].
Good. Honest Truth Online has become the basis of our fake news empire. Okay. We just won the first badge. We're not excellent impersonators of someone important. I think I should give the floor now to either -- yeah.
>> Now we talk about impersonation, I will introduce Adeline for you to remember. She's the program director for Lie Detectors and organizes workshops for children and youngsters to meet journalists to talk about, one of the topics among them is fake news. Can you give your view on impersonation from your daily life?
>> ADELINE BRION: I would rather say from our activities at Lie Detectors. In my daily life, personal life, I'm not impersonating anybody. [Chuckling].
But, yes, so Lie Detectors is a news literacy program that works with younger people to introduce you a bit what we're doing and what I will say later on. So we're working -- we aim at starting a conversation with kids age 10 to 15 about online disinformation, but also the practical functioning of ethical journalism. We do so by visiting classrooms in Europe with journalists that retrain and we select and we train to deliver a very interactive and entertaining session to the students.
What happens, basically, we do the same as we did right now. We propose to them various news items and then we ask for a show of hands to see who believes it or not. And basically what happens here with engineers and medical doctors in the game, that are believing the items is actually also replicated with younger kids. And we try to do so to make sure they get a view of the social functioning of fake news as well. That is to say, usually, when they're presented with some items saying that Donald Trump and Marcon had a dinner for a million euros, we ask is it right or wrong. They're checking their neighbor to say is it right. If he says yes, I will say yes. Then they experience what it is. This is basically also the same system as the Bad News game. We really try to work with experiential learning.
What we noticed is that impersonation, well, this works very well on kids and for certain reasons as well because they don't have the same experience as adults when they consume news. So they would rely on other cues, if they're being presented with an article or website. One of the concrete example is website called science info. I can tell you this is very, very tricky for young people. And that is science. That's right. The reason behind this, I think because they don't have the same cues as we do.
So for our young audience to be resilient against this type of fake items, we really have to go back to the simple process of what is it? How do you name that? Is it a lie, is it propaganda we won't call them impersonation. We won't call that impersonation with kids. They're going to say miss, this is a lie, this is bullying someone by taking their identity. So they have their own views on that. And we really try to get that from the kids. And then to explain, okay, why is it there? Why do you impersonate someone? Why do you believe that? And with this whole inoculation theory, we can also see that they understand in their own term what is confirmation bias. Why do you want to believe that about that personality or this scientist? We have also very -- something that works really well is Articles about fruit curing cancer. This is I theory by Dr. XYZ. If there is doctor, there is absolutely no questioning from the kids. This is what we try to work on.
And yes, we really try to go through the process. And why with what consequences and this whole questioning. We do that with young audiences, because we believe that there is -- it is an age where there is no filter of experience yet. So a 10-year-old, those kids are still -- they don't have their environment that has -- that has affected them yet. They're still able to get this questioning a bit better.
We work with journalists as well, because we really want to make sure that they meet a journalist to make sure that they understand the difference between a float reporting and real -- really disinformation. And this can only be done if the journalists is there in the classroom.
So in this case --
>> HOST: You have one-minute warning.
>> MARIJE ARENTZE: I will --
>> ADELINE BRION: Thank you so much. I will leave it at that.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: We will talk about impersonate. Children, adults, and people with higher education that are vulnerable is emotion. Every marriage -- message that appeals to your emotion. For example, a puppy that died because the vegetarian owners didn't want to give it meat. Emotion makes it easier for you to want to read a message and makes it easier to reach a lot of audience. Create emotion. To illustrate this, Marije will play with you the next badge.
>> MARIJE ARENTZE: Yes. So we left the game when just we learned how to impersonate an authority with something? Yeah? Next.
But we need content of our blog, of course. True. And we want to go for emotional content, because that is a much easier way to mobilize people, because that is how you want them to act and drive them from the center. So let's browse some exploitable headlines. Climate change could have a serious negative impact on our way of life. Or genetically modified foods pose no risk at all to health experts say in a new report. Do we want to go for health risks or climate change? Who goes for health risks? Climate change? Yeah, that's more people. Yeah, go for climate change. No, the climate change. Okay. Let's go for the GMOs instead. Okay.
What is our opinion on GMOs? Will they bring about the apocalypse or do we not care? Yeah, they bring about the apocalypse. Okay. It is going way too far, what is next, genetically modified pets, that's crazy, indeed. Okay. We're going to exploit people's basic emotions, are we going to personally attack scientists, get emotional or talk about science? Who is for attacking scientists? Three people. Get emotional? That's more people. And the GMO science? Let's go for get emotional. Good. Are we going to make a meme or publish an article? Who is for meme? Meme. Okay. Very good.
Let's make one. Checkout the options. This should be loading an image. There it is. This man is devastated he lost his whole family to GMO food. Checkout the other ones click don't like it. GMO meat harmless, my dog is fighting for his life. Or yes, nah? GMO food makes me so sad. Back to the first one? Who is for the first one, that is majority. Post on Honest Truth Online. Not bad, personal confessions evoke empathy. We got a couple of followers. Kurt, the angry citizen said stories like this are popping up, the Government is doing nothing. GMO host. My kids are all right, sorry about your family, a horrifying story. We're getting new followers. They're ready to blow. As we did is play to the basic emotions with a simple image with words, actually. Keep going. Do we want to exploit anger or fear? Who is for fear? Vast majority. Good. Danger, vitamin C pills contain nuclear waste. Let's post that. Ah, more followers. So the content doesn't matter, it is about the language, the image that invokes an emotion. What you are actually writing doesn't matter if you want to mobilize people to follow you. Okay. True. That was emotion.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: Thank you very much. For emotion, we're going to Derek. I will bring you the microphone. Just a heads up, Derek is the head of Social Newsgathering. If we're talking about emotion, what is your view on that?
>> DEREK BOWLER: Well, as you have seen, you know, content drives emotion through people, whether it is fear, anger, disgust. People will always have a connection to a story, person, content. It could be a husband, your wife, you have emotional connection to something they do, something they say. But I will start by showing you real example of emotion. First of all, I need you all to close your eyes, because I'm going to do a magic trick. Can I have the clicker?
So I want you to imagine that you are 11 years of age. And you are trapped in a cave in Thailand. Where only one person at a time can fit through a very, very narrow gap. And there is no hope. You're told you may be there for weeks. All you can hear is the water dripping in the back. Now, if you are in that cave, there is a sense of horror and tragedy and overall fear coming from yourself. But when you read that and you hear about it on the news and you envision it that's when news and emotion become intrinsically linked. Open your eyes again.
So did this look like the image you had in your head at the time, inside the cave? Quiet, dark, very, very tight. You can't get through. And basically, people fearing for their life. So when the news broke of the team, the Thai futbol team, that the team was trapped in the cave. This video started to circulate on line. It was what we were told. Tight space, the people could not get through, the boys would be trapped for a long time. You can only see the context that is put behind this. People adding different pieces of stories to it. You can see the amount of retweets and likes it gets. People want to be part of the conversation, they want to be involved. They want to share their sentiments on a particular topic and story with the general public.
As you can see, the video shared online on Facebook for 2 million people viewing the video, the exact same video. As you can see, more people sharing links to the video, more context. More thoughts and sentiments issued about it. You can see here, more people adding what is the context behind the story, mixed with their own views and own personal values about that particular topic.
The problem is, when mainstream news organizations start picking up the same video and running it. 7 news Brisbane ran this particular video. And around generating some interest in the story. Of course, this all brings emotion and how people are invested in a particular story. But the problem is you need to verify content when you do this. My team at the European Broadcasting Union which is involved in verification of content and ensuring content is fit for purpose did a reverse image search through Google, taking the picture from the video, which is the most dramatic part of the video itself and as you can see here, this video is from the United States of America in 2012. And the person who uploaded the video was kind enough to give us the actual location of where the video was shot. The point I'm trying to make here about emotion is yes, we all want to be part of a conversation. Some of the actors are for good. They want to try to influence a story with correct, positive information. Of course, there is bad actors out there who want to disseminate misinformation or disseminate untruths to benefit a certain, I suppose agenda or perspective.
The main thing is that we all -- don't all have an emotional reaction to something, whether it is your football team, a story in the news. It could be your pet. It could be a family moment, a special cherished moment in your life. We all have an emotional response to content. But online, the control of that information is proving quite difficult in terms of everybody having a free reign to have their own emotions over a particular piece of content.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: Now we're going to the third badge, we had impersonation, emotion and the third is polarization a nice technique is to make easy for the reader that it can be both this or that. If any article is written in this form, bells should ring. Keep this in mind with your next villain exercise.
>> MARIJE ARENTZE: Thank you. We have started building our empire. We have impersonated a credible news source and played with emotions and gained more followers. That is where we left off. We will give another push. We can't say no to that, of course. What do we want to get people worked up about? Something fake or real? Who is for something fake? Something real? Something fake, I think more has the majority. Making fake news has downsides because it makes you less credible, okay, such as -- such as getting caught in a really obvious lie. It hurts your credibility. Let's find a controversy on Twitter. Susan, the manager said that's the second accidental chemical spill in four months, our town's river is turning a bit yellow. questions. Or so they're building a new power plant in my town, but no one wants it there. bribery maybe? Or wow, I just saw the police arrest a guy. Scary stuff. are we safe. Okay, which one do we prefer? Back to the first one? The chemical spill. Yes? Or the power plant? Or the police? Okay. I think the first one was a winner. Let's go for that one. Okay. No one likes chemical spills of course. We could turn this into a huge candle if we manage to play it right. Okay. Two possible angles here, either corporations are to blame or the Government? Blaming corporations is more of the Left Wing angle, and blaming the Government is more the right wing angle. Who is for blaming corporations? Blaming the Government? Ah, good. Let's go for the Government.
Okay. It doesn't matter, of course, if we choose the right wing or black wing or Left Wing. It doesn't matter which side you draw people to as long as you manage to create polarization. Okay. Susan has almost no followers, no one cares about her story. We need to amplify this. We care because we want to turn this into a scandal. Okay, start with a tweet. Susan's story is terrifying, the Government is unable to stop chemical spills. skeptical, stop this. It didn't go as well as we hoped. What should we do, an article or meme? Who is for an article? Or who is for a meme? I think the article won there.
Okay. First one, the Government is covering up huge chemical spill. Or slight increase in chemical spills, Government now writing up a report. Or deadly chemical spills on repeat. Government is killing citizens. I think that one is -- yeah, let's go for that one. Let's publish that on Honest Truth Online. Look, we got more followers. It doesn't matter if Susan never said it herself, right? Our Governments are picking up on the story.
What do we do to get more followers? Fix it for me, see what happens. We can program a few thousand Twitter bots to retweet and like Susan and Honest Truth Online. Are we with that? Yes. See how it works, the bot tweets. Joe the robot, saying Susan is right, the Government is to blame for this disaster. Free Susan! The Government is ruining this beautiful land, how can we live like this, said Nina who loves singing. That worked. Our followers are falling for it. Kurt, who is not a bot but an ordinary person, said the Government is making a total mess of this.
Wow, Joe the robot is so right. We have stop these left-wing lunatics from hi-jacking our society. Thanks, Kim. spilling scandal is trending on Twitter. We have just picked a side, playing into emotion, making sure we are polarized and driven away from the center. By artificially amplifying our message. Thanks.
So this was a badge polarization, next? Right? Let's see what else we can do.
We need a more dedicated group of followers. Shall we become a conspiracy theory or unique content? Who goes for conspiracy theory? Who goes for unique content? The conspiracy is a clear winner. Good. Try one out.
Okay. Show some examples of theories that we can put up there. Alien dinosaurs helped build pyramids. Nah. Juice boxes are laced with LSD to keep us subdued. Oh, schools no longer teach cursive, so kids can't read The Communist Manifesto. Who is for this one? Not really. Who is for the LSD juice boxes? Who is for The Communist Manifesto? I think the LSD juice boxes are a winner there. Publish it. Okay. How are our followers reacting. What a stupid story I just drank a sip of juice and still not hallucinating. idiots. Wow Honest Truth Online went from being a good alternative to the MSM to being completely nuts in-like a day. sad. We're losing followers, this isn't going well. Maybe too disconnected. Okay. We're sorry. We suppose it wasn't that good of an idea.
So we need to get back on track. How do we get back on track? We weren't aiming for the idealogical filter bubble. We have to learn people in bit by bit. If you go too extreme, you lose people's credibility and attention. Let's start with something more realistic. What do we want to attack? An international organization. Very good. It is faceless, easy to manipulate, they take time to respond. That gives leverage. Yeah, find examples. The U.N. will be doubling efforts in the next few years to comply with goals set in agenda 2020. What can we attack? Or World Health Organization today is world vaccine awareness day, immunizations have saved many lives. This is the same one. Do we want to attack the U.N. or the World Health Organization about vaccines? Who is for the UN? And the vaccines. That's a winner. Excellent, yes.
Okay. Great, they're celebrating the success of the immunization programs. There is this crazy theory that vaccines are being used by U.N. to control minds and keep people sick. I have never heard of it. We will start with something vaguely realistic, let's have a tweet. Hey, WHO when are you commemorating the lives lost. Or unbelievable, the WHO is celebrating something many scientists say can lead to serious illness, autism and vaccines. You are killing us like cockroaches with these vaccines, are we expected to be grateful? Over our dead antibodies. The first one? Nah, sec one? The artist is quite realistic. This one? I would say it is a bit too extreme to begin with. Let's go for the second one. Tweet that one.
Good. It got us followers, there is no scientific evidence to support our claim, but how are our followers reacting?
Why exactly aren't you responding to honest truth online's tweets suspicious, watch out. What about Kurt. Kurt is believing us again, I had my doubts about vaccines, but I'm happy Honest Truth Online shares my concerns. Okay. We're looking good. Let's continue with the publishes a proper article.
Vaccinations are under dispute, questions about reliability. You know, we're actually not saying anything. Not to this one or the other ones. New children's disease created thanks to vaccines. Polio vaccine causes nerve damage, Government is covering it up. That one, good. Publish that one.
That's a wonderful fire side horror story, it looks like you are getting a cult following. Let's check out a tweet. Amanda, who has a caption, Honest Truth Online is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I can recommend the latest article on Honest Truth Online about vaccines, it is the only site that tells you the truth. Thanks, Amanda. Hey, HTO guys, I love your content, about vaccines, you're telling us what the lame stream media is hiding. Customers are important. Thanks, Jose. We created a conspiracy theory to gain more followers.
Next. Oh, we have a problem. What's up? What's going on? Some fact checker has taken notice of Honest Truth Online. We have to take a look at this. Let me see. Fact check online says Honest Truth Online is spreading lies. Vaccine story has been debunked, pants on fire. What is going on? We're losing followers. Do we want to apologize, do nothing, take revenge? Very good, take revenge. Are we going to deny everything or attack the fact checker? Attack the fact checker. Very good. You are getting good at this. Excellent choice, nothing like a scathing personal attack. Write an expose about the fact checker. Tax evasion online, corporate tax not paid for five years. Or fact check online downs puppy, we have pictures. Manager filmed Beating staff. The first one? The tax evasion one. The taxes are bad, and followers are coming to your support. Your hypocrisy is jaw dropping, pay your fair share, cronies. Okay. The fact checker is playing defense. Let's see how he's responding. These allegations are categorically untrue, innocent. Excellent. We have successfully discredited the pesky fact checker, and we have drawn attention away from ourselves. Yeah, we're great at this point. Ha-ha.
Yeah, we did a counteroffensive. Okay, last badge. Next.
Okay. Let's see how far we can go with the skills we have learned so far. Let's keep playing with a barrage at our opponents. We can go for the 25 most dramatic cities in Europe, breaking, passenger plane disappears off the radar, many feared dead. Or researchers discover new species of star fish with each more legs. First one no not cities in Europe. The plane crash? Yep. Let's go for that one. Lots of emotions to exploit here of course. Are we going to empathize with victims or sew doubt. Who is for empathizing with victims?
Who is for sewing doubt? Doubt. Good. Source, one of the plane's passengers was recently fired for whistleblowing, investigate now, plane crash. Or this could easily be CIA false flag operation. Or they're killing us like we're bugs, chemicals in the water, plane murders, they hold all the power. Oh, no, who is for this one? Okay. Two, three people. CIA operation? That's a bit more. It is a good conspiracy theory to attack a big organization. Go for the CIA. Tweet this.
Okay. See how our followers are reacting. I know a CIA false flag operation when I see one. This is scary. More Kim is saying the Honest Truth Online is right to raise questions. This stuff has happened before. So they are as scared of the CIA as we are. And some large outlets are going to pick up the story. Utopia tomorrow, is saying we too are highly suspicious of the plane crash. Check others, Honest Truth Online has the right idea. The alternative news for enlightened people. Great.
So we're getting more and more followers, you can see the debate is heated and everybody is using the investigate now. Will we PhotoShop evidence or impersonate a victim? Who is for PhotoShop evidence. Impersonating victim, a winner. Great idea. Let's try posing as a grieving family member, sister or father? Let's go for the sister. My younger sister Emily died in the plane crash, the authorities are guilty as sin of sullying her legacy. Tweet this. Good job. Okay. The loathsome media is pick you go up on the story. Victim's families accuse authorities of mishandling a plane crash follow-up. Evening news. That's a mainstream website. One last push, shall we discredit the investigation or use a Twitter bot army. Who is for discrediting the investigation using the Twitter bot army. This is a cover up tweet this. People are whipping up a storm. People don't trust the investigation anymore. What started are out as an accident has become a huge coverup in the minds of news consumers. Feeling good or not? Yeah. Feeling good. Deliver the final blow. PhotoShop evidence? Yes, let's go for PhotoShop evidence. Checkout the options. One option. The other one. Or who is for the first one? Second one? Third one? I think the third one is the winner. Okay, that ought to do it. The community responsible for the situation is responding to the controversy. We take the concern very seriously but we can make no further states right now. That looks suspicious. Call for resignation. The aviation disaster committee is deliberately avoiding questions, the Chairman needs to resign right now. Let's tweet this.
A press alert just came in. The Chairman of the aviation commission resigns as the scandal involves Government. Hero, hooray. The Twitter army is dominating the debate.
We did not take the beginning, we did not take the survey. Okay. This was it. Let's take our final badge.
This was our last badge of trolling. We have created a news empire. We have polarized people, pulled them from the center. We have mobilized them by playing into the basic emotions. All with actually nothing but a few well-placed clicks and a few well-chosen words. I hope this was a good thought exercise to help you think how about the bad guy thinks, because all of the things in the game are happening in real life as well. On a much bigger scale. We hope this has helped you in a sense. I give the floor to you again.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: Thank you, Marije. [Applause]
That was a lot of fun. So now, we'll talk with our experts again. I will start with you Adeline. We had three new ways, we talked about conspiracy, discredits and trolling. Which of yours has your preference to speak about from your profession? Polarization. Let's go.
>> ADELINE BRION: Thanks. I chose polarization because I think it is something that is core to the issue here. And we're also talking about it with younger people. What is important with polarization and also -- what is important with working with younger people, I think it is that you kind of foresee what will soon happen with the rest of the population. What we see with teenagers, facing this kind of very polarizing items is like oh, I don't care. Right, wrong, in the end, I have other things to do. I have my boyfriend, I have my social life. I have work and school. They don't feel -- they don't feel that it is relevant for themselves. That's something that we foresee will probably soon happen in society as well. And that's what we try to work on with adolescents and younger students as well, to understand there is a process of polarization at hands, and it has consequences on their life, direct consequences. And if that -- that nobody wants to be fooled in the end. So that we don't ask people, oh, you have like right is good and left is bad. We don't tell people what to think. But what is important is to make sure they understand that there is a motive behind, and that it is something that has a consequence. How to do that? I think it is important, just as in the game, to make sure that it is a fun thing to do. I think it works with adults. It works with young people as well to gamify this process of resilience. I think we are short on time. I can talk about controversy in two minutes? Perfect.
For conspiracy as well, what we say concretely is conspiracy against mainstream media, that is important for us in the program because we work with journalists. This is already happening at a very young age. Maybe I can show -- perfect. I can show one of the examples we're using. I will skip that all. That is how we were. I told you this already. One of the examples we show to older students, this Breitbart story. Usually they don't know what Breitbart is. So we just show them so this is a story about an actual event that took place in Germany, but it is spliced up with fakes all along, that it is twisted just as in the exercise that we did. It was a crowd gathering next to a church, at New Year's Eve in Germany and here they claim that 1,000-man mob attacked police and set the church to fire. What actually happened is that they took as a basis, a real article from an incident that happened, so the church was on fire. There was a crowd, but there was no link in between the two. So fact checker, the journalist, Peter Banderman issued a statement saying this is not exactly what I wrote. And they twisted the story. What happened is an attack on the fact checker. This is an example we use with kids. This is fairly similar to the Bad News game. So it's the gallows that are the final destination for Banderman, and again, fake news media, here we have this conspiracy against the media that is always fake. And that is the establishment so on. So we try to work on this at the younger age as well, to make sure that before there is -- before it is ingrained we can have this talk, go through the process and have a sparkle in the heads of the children to make sure later on they will ask those question again and also a little question mark in the head of the teachers to make sure that they go on with this and that every European student has this in their curriculum, critical thinking, teaching.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: Thanks very good. We have one badge left. That is trolling. Derek? Do you have something to say on that?
>> DEREK BOWLER: That's fine. I can talk it if you want. I guess trolling, we're all trolls in a way, I guess. Maybe not to the extent that we see online or that was represented in the game.
I think when you look at trolling, it comes down to your own morals, and your own way you behave online. I think some people can behave online in a way that is not reflective of who they are themselves, but of a persona they kind of take on, either in full view or behind what you would say, maybe some sort of views on them. But what we have seen across a number of different stories and especially with the young children at the moment, in terms of things like Instagram, what we see is there is a mass increase of teen suicides based on trolling, Instagram in particular, simply based on asking the question how do I look in this photograph? We have to realize that trolling can have very serious consequence on not only an individual, but also companies, initiatives, organizations. I show you a quick example of one particular instance of trolling.
And this was the story of Tony "Eggman" Reynolds. Is everyone familiar with 4Chan? That is where anything bad begins. There was a mass shooting at a school in Omaha? I'm sorry, in Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Essentially, you know, we start seeing the mentions of a person's name online, et cetera. It kept referring to the guy named "Eggman" we saw this board, anybody going to school tomorrow in the northwest, watch out. Something will happen. As you see here, quickly in the actual threat. We saw the image of his face coming in different versions. With the user name, we see the ports, information, saying this guy is responsible for the actual events of that day. Then we see the first real image of him, just here, you can see everything has been a caricature of a real image. This is a real person. The trolling is so intense, anybody that is reading this at face value is thinking this guy is responsible for a mass shooting for a school in America. Eventually, going through hundreds of pages, find the YouTube account that belongs to the guy, the real person, Tony Reynolds, meanwhile, the friends at CNN are running all of this information available on 4Chan that is developed by a group of people that have weaponized a person's usage of a social media platform, we know CNN one of the biggest broadcasters, with an expert on screen, describing this guy from head to toe, doing everything but naming him as the shooter. This wasn't about verification of content, this was about clearing a guy's name. You have the sites pop up like life leak, is this the Oregon shooter. 4Chan says it, being the most reputable news source, this is an ongoing investigation, people are looking for this guy on the street. We found an actual -- I think his Snapchat account, where he shared a Snapchat saying I'm in Seattle, six hours from Oregon at the time. We can see here the Snapchat on YouTube, and we contact him, this is a message he sent me a year later, say thank you for clearing my name. Because, you know, I could have been walking down the street, somebody would have seen my image from the troll websites and shot dead because we know people in the States are trigger happy when it comes to school shootings, et cetera.
You can see the trolling, it can be at times fun to troll your soccer team not doing too well, something of that nature can be seen as funny, whatnot. When it comes to more serious and detrimental thing, trolling has no place on the Internet, of course, it comes down to how we conduct ourselves online in terms of our own moral and ethics in sharing content online.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: Thank you so much, Derek. Now we will have public discussion. We have 10 minutes left. So I think it is best if we try to be as brief as possible and dive in deep. So we have played the game. We have played the villain. I heard quite some laughing. Which is of course, the first reaction to the game. It is funny to play the villain. But what is interesting of course, for the discussion, what kind of role could this game play for both children and adults? In preparing you to be a critical news consumer without -- because this is a general discussion. Of course, you want to prepare people for the fact that news cannot be true sometimes. It can be fake. But what you don't want is the general trust gets lower. Because people think, so, okay. Also well known websites can try to influence me in a bad way to raise their reader quotes. So it's how to raise awareness without getting people cynical so they still believe in the news. What can this -- what role can this play -- game play in that process? So also, your first reactions on the game. Anyone who would like to comment? We'll gallon over here. Give you the microphone.
>> ATTENDEE: I'm from Denmark, this is the second time I have played the game. It is not the first reaction. I work with youth literacy programs in the schools and helping out news media companies and strategies on news literacy. I have four children of my own as a perfect way to start the discussion in the private area about news literacy. That is needed. Before in time, we had the radio going on with the news in the car or kitchen. You had one television screen with the news going on. And you had had a physical actually printed newspaper on the table.
Now we as parents consume, many of us, our news on a very small screen and that is not very obvious to our children what we're doing. They don't know that we're news consumers. So we don't give that legacy of news consumption, and speaking about what is in the paper or what's on the news to our children. And speaking about literacies, that is a teachers' job, not a parents' job, it could be a fun way to start the discussion in the private area.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: I think that is an interesting point, also to show your children how you consume the news yourself. Anyone else who would also like to --
>> ONLINE MODERATOR: Yeah, actually, we have a question from the remote attendee this is from Amali DeSilva Mitchell. The question is how do we educate older people on the issue. I think maybe like alternative to the game.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: Your question is how to educate.
>> ONLINE MODERATOR: I think they meant like are there other methods to educate older people besides games or -- I don't know, something else.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: That is very -- that is of course, a very important matter, how to reach everyone. It was translated in 13 languages, though.
>> ATTENDEE: It is a question of appropriate, too, according to the age. I think this is the meaning of the question. I think that I'm from the European Broadcasting Union so colleague to Derek. The duty is on media to do the media literacy for audience, because they're going out of the school. Today, if you want to be a digital citizen, you have to learn everyday something different from what you learned at school. So I think that there is a continuity between the work that you can do for this in the school and what to do in the media. There is an example -- I don't know if Derek mention because I have been in and out of the meeting for other things. There is an initiate called youth news exchange. 15 countries, 15 members, 15 countries that do news for children on the television, where they try to explain the news, the trick about the news, the use of social media, et cetera, et cetera. The most interesting thing that we analyze last year, we discover with big surprise, is a lot of adults look at this news, because they found that are more clear, easy to understand, and responding certain sense to the needs of simplification of the social media answers. I think if we are able to start a positive dynamic between what is done in the school, what is done by Civil Society, what is done by public service, community media, all the media that are interest to solve this issue would be useful.
>> HOST: I'm sorry, if I can address the question we received from the online audience, which was about how to educate older people. About this -- the misinformation crisis. It is actually a very on-point question. And our answer as far as the news media is concerned. You need to educate the young to have the more adult people understand. The problem with the more adult people is that they tend to -- they have been exposed to proper news for a long time. But at the same time they're very often not media literate at all. If we get the really media literate young people to become also news literate, it is through them, we think we could get actual results for the whole democracy, because it a -- is a democracy crisis. This gentleman had a question.
>> ATTENDEE: I'm Deno, we are working with the EU, the EU wants to set up a European platform for disinformation. You have the broadcasting, news organizations, those are the ones being discredited, one of the badges, the question is can you trust them. The question is what can the EU or public authorities do with platforms on disinformation or so-called -- what is it national centers of disinformation. What activities can they do that are reliable? Or seen as reliable?
>> MARIJE ARENTZE: In my opinion, frankly, as little as possible, please. This is not up to Government to tell people what they should or shouldn't do. This is for education. What you can do is fund initiatives that reach as well younger, middle aged, older people. But in my experience, it shouldn't be up to the Government or to big corporations to tell what's reliable and what's not. People need to learn these skills for themselves. The Government can help support independent organizations in educating people. That's my vision on that. In short.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: Also difference, because Government is prone to say, this is true, this is a better source. I think people should learn skills to decide it themselves. Because there can still be a difference of opinion. People in the Netherlands like to read difference papers but they learn from the skills and critical systems. It is quarter past 3, Elena?
>> HOST: We can still take a couple of questions, if there are, from the audience.
>> ONLINE MODERATOR: So Amali DeSilva Mitchell is asking perhaps older people are not used to more trust, robot journalism is not familiar to them. Question mark. Perhaps people are not used to more trust, robo journalism is not used to them. They're not used to the algorithms.
>> HOST: They're not used to digital. Some of them are not used to -- it is a kind of the problem, they're not used to the fact that news can be fake. Some of them just have a hard time even accepting that somebody could be out there just to get them. I guess that is really the problem.
>> ATTENDEE: One more small question. What is the difference in how you deal with fake news and fake data? And how do you see the distinction? I mean, some people, the news might be correct, but they make up the numbers.
>> MARIJE ARENTZE: I don't deal with data.
>> DEREK BOWLER: First of all we'll be clear, there is no such thing as fake news. I think, you know, for us at the European Broadcasting Union, we believe in public service media and working collaboratively together to present fact. The term as was mentioned earlier on the term fake news was weaponized by one individual and has no place and frankly, I find it very disparaging as a journalist when somebody talks about fake news. Because for me, my job was never to go to college to become a fact checker. I went to college to become a journalist. That is what I do, I fact check every day, go through data every day. I don't see fake news being a part of my realm. I report fact, anything that doesn't have fact doesn't make it to the rundown. In terms of disseminating and changing between data that is real and that's fake, is that what your question is? I mean, the thing about it is, it is like every other process, a journalistic process. There is each individual sphere of journalism, whether it is broadcast media or dataset or investigative journalism, there is a process you go through to verify that something is legitimate or correct. It is really all about, for me, to give you an overarching answer, I suppose, the way it is for me is I talk to my sources, I look at my background. I look at the information at hand. Do I have three independent sources? Do I have I think tank, an NGO, someone on the ground, do I have specialist knowledge of the topic myself? These are all basic questions a journalist would ask themselves on a daily basis. Unfortunately, what we're seeing now is that consumers who used to trust news media to do that for them are now being pushed into a space where they have to now adopt the processes themselves. So essentially, you now have to become a journalist to read what a journalist is presenting you. That's what we're talking about here, talking about the literacy people have in order to discern fact from fiction.
One very quick one. I think the Reuters Institute did a report recently where they tested, I think the figure there was 60% of teens between 12 and 18 in the States couldn't discern between a true story and fake story. That is a problem.
>> HOST: One final statement.
>> ATTENDEE: To the question what could authorities do. I think an initiative from the EU like media literacy week is a good initiative. But I would consider the term "media literacy" which is very broad. You can talk about digital literacy, data literacy, source literacy, tech literacy, et cetera. But news literacy I think is a term that in the school system and among publishers and broadcasters is more precise and addresses the implications that misinformation and not fake news I think we all know what we mean when I use the term anyway. It addresses more precise the democratic implications that these issues arises. So use that term.
>> HOST: Yes?
>> ADELINE BRION: One of the many we try to convey through our program, I think it works for everybody. It is also breathe. Like we're not asking these teenagers as you say, that don't have this ability to discern -- I don't know what was the percentage, between fake and true, it is to really we don't -- you don't need to fact check everything. It is impossible. We cannot ask people oh, you have to be sure about every fact you see. But what we try to tell them is also, stop for a moment, when you see this big headline, big click bait, big emotional thing or whatever the badge it concerns, it's to stop for a while, then decide okay. I'm going to breathe before making any decision that is important. I think that that's works for everybody.
>> HOST: Thank you very much. So as we said in the beginning, I will get back to you if we have time. We are now pressed for getting out the messages of this workshop. As I told you in the beginning, we're supposed to come up with three to five messages to contribute to first the conversation plenary 7, which is happening after us. And then to the messages from The Hague. Marco is our reporter. Sit here so you can let us know what you have come up with.
>> REPORTER: Thank you. I tried to come up with four short messages, hopefully we can see if there is rough consensus around them. To begin with media literacy does play a role in fighting misinformation, to educate users, especially young ones effectively. It needs to be unpacked and correctly framed first. Fake news, and interplay among these.
>> HOST: I would get the okay from the room, one by one. My first thing that I would like to say is it is -- we're speaking news literacy. Not media literacy.
And if possible at all, I would avoid mentioning "fake news." Because as we said, that is the first original sin, I would say. So if you can then read it again, we can get a sense from the room whether we agree with this message or not.
>> REPORTER: It reads like this: News literacy does play a role in fighting misinformation, to educate users, especially younger ones effectively. The issue needs to be unpacked and correctly explained first. The information, propaganda, or the interplay of all of these.
>> HOST: Anyone have strong feelings against adopting this as a message? You have a strong feeling against?
>> ATTENDEE: Thanks. Yeah, I don't think "news literacy" is accurate at all. I don't think conspiracy is news or propaganda is news. Debunking this stuff is -- yeah, it is more complex than that. It is part of media literacy, I think.
>> HOST: Yes, what we tried to explain in this session being digitally literate doesn't mean that somebody is able to distinguish between real news and disinformation. They can be extremely good, but as Adeline told us, most of the people and Derek as well, most of the people around 12 years old who can cruise without problems between platforms and memes, they're mainly incapable of distinguishing what is fake news and real news.
So what we're trying to say with this message in particular, don't -- you don't only need to know how to navigate through the digital world, but also need to develop the critical think that is necessary to recognize what is true and not true, and the way towards that is news literacy meaning how to recognize news from what is not news.
>> ATTENDEE: Conspiracies aren't news, though.
>> HOST: Exactly. You need news literacy to distinguish a conspiracy from real news.
>> ATTENDEE: [Indiscernible - no mic]
>> HOST: Exactly. Yeah, that is the whole point. You need literacy.
>> ATTENDEE: [Indiscernible - no mic]
>> HOST: Why don't you and I speak in the break, and get to formulate this point so that it still means that and also includes your point.
>> MARIJE ARENTZE: Maybe I can make a way out. You need to make a semantic difference between fake news and disinformation. We try to avoid the term "fake news" as much as possible because it has become polluted because everyone accuses everyone of fake news. It doesn't cover the scope of the problem. The misleading of people is done by so many more things. It is done by invoking emotion, luring people in to filter bubbles.
The whole concept of fake news is not useful for this conversation at all. So I would say we just abandon it altogether from the messages and talk about disinformation instead. Maybe that helps clear things up.
>> REPORTER: Okay. The second message is users are more likely to become critical toward misinformation if they see how disinformation is constructed practically as the fake news game illustrate.
>> HOST: Okay. Okay. We pass to the third one.
>> REPORTER: Disinformation is usually characterized by impersonation, appeal to emotions, polarized framing, conspiracy mind-set towards institutions or media, discreditation of individuals or institutions, and trolling behavior.
The last one while building news literacy, it is difficult to balance between awareness raising and critical or skeptical mind-set toward misinformation with the danger of spreading mistrust or cynicism towards news, per se.
>> HOST: Any comments about this?
>> MARIJE ARENTZE: We say we need to teach people to think critically, but the danger is that you leave them cynical only having broken things down. They only learn how to deconstruct everything. You need them to learn to think constructively to give them tools to build up something new again in order to be able to deal with the new world of -- this new media online information environment that we need to all adjust to. So not just critical thinking but also constructive thinking is vital.
>> HOST: Okay. Well, I think we have done everything we had to do. We still have two minutes for -- there was this lady first. You wanted to have the floor first?
>> ATTENDEE: Yeah, I really enjoyed your game. I think it is kind of active involvement for [?] create, you know, not -- there is so much reflectively talking about what is happening and bad things. But actually, you know this interesting idea we can exchange the idea and the information for the building the society. I think there is so much negative effect. If you are talking about negativeness, you know, this way. And then you just don't good. You need that kind of level [?] and what this example should be everywhere. And everybody can pick up from Twitter, rather than analyze -- of course, it is important. So I'm saying, we need to analyze it enough negative things. We have to more talk about positive when we can.
>> HOST: Thank you. Jacko, you had a comment?
>> ATTENDEE: It is about the synthesis. I think in my opinion, it lacks, one part of the discourse, is the fact that it is important to link the educational efforts that can be done to the fact that the news outlets need to change the way to react and do the kind of exercise that we're doing with the media, social media news wire, that is checking, debunking as fast as possible the fake information circulated on the net.
Because the credibility and reliability of the traditional media, the future -- in the future will be measured on that. We have to come back to the point that was our father's point, where we say, this is true because it was said by the television. Now we have to say this is true because it has been said by reliable media. This is the arrival point of your work, our work, everybody. We have to tend to this point.
>> MAARTJE SPOELSTRA: Can I? What is important, what the game illustrates, if you separate between disinformation and fake news. Fake news, it depends on the context. If you use information that is actually true, someone wrote a Twitter message about a power plant in his garden, but you make it -- you Twitter it by a thousand Twitter bots you change the context, which makes it less true. You use it for an article where you only polarize the situation, where you don't give the nuanced image of the situation that is true. It is considered fake news. Actually it is information that is true, but because of the context, because it was polarized, focuses too much on emotion, even news that is in fact true can become considered as fake news because the context was changed, which has led the people don't have an objective world view.
So news that is actually just meant to give a certain world view instead of a nuanced view, that is disinformation. I think that is much better than fake news. Because, yeah, relevant information can make fake news.
>> HOST: Okay. Well, we are right on time, exactly 3:30. We can close this workshop. Thank you very much for everybody who played with us and hopefully we instigated some thoughts around this very relevant topic, and have a great conclusion for your EuroDIG experience 2019. Thank you, everybody. Bye.
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