Disinformation is increasingly seen as a national security concern in many states, but interest is being seen in other directions as well. For example, the founder of Wikipedia wants to launch a platform, called Wikitribune, to help counter the fake news that abounds in today's societies. There are at least five levels of disinformation, at least 10 techniques of online influence disinformation, and at least seven steps to verify the information.
The peculiarities of disinformation in the online environment and the role of new technologies in disinformation campaigns, as current trends in disinformation campaigns on social networks, were the themes of the XI and XII sessions of the training program on critical thinking, media literacy, analysis, resistance to disinformation and reflection information of public interest in an unbiased manner, held on Thursday, May 25. The trainer of the sessions was Aurelia Peru, Ph.D. in political sciences, coordinating scientific researcher.
According to Aurelia Peru, online/social media influence techniques include: hacking and the person involved in hacking activities is known as a hacker. Other techniques, such as counterfeiting and information leakage; type proofs "Potemkin's village"; bots; trolling; propaganda through humor; the ad hominem technique; "Gish's gallop" technique; transfer technique; labeling; and the photos.
The habilitated doctor in political sciences also mentioned that the verification of information can start from the analysis of the reputation of the institution/person spreading the information; from the evidence presenting them, whether they include facts or opinions, whether they are current or old; if other sources talk about the same information; from the analysis of the author's intention – to sell, inform or entertain; from the analysis of emotions, which can be of anger, own prejudices; but also from putting all the elements on the scale.
“As with the sessions so far, today's assignments were just as valuable. Trends change, and we need to be informed about these changes, which are taking place and which affect us. If we don't know them, we can end up being misinformed", believes Andrei Bargan, a participant of the training program.
"I know there is disinformation, but I didn't know that disinformation can have several levels. I learned on this occasion as much as I knew. I deepened my knowledge about disinformation, about new techniques, especially about those present in the online environment, which we encounter every day, but I did not know that they were disinformation techniques", said Lilia Stratin, also a participant in the training program.
"Today, more than ever, we need to know how we are being misinformed, although at first glance we might think it's something normal, and if we sat and analyzed a little if we had a little critical thinking, we would know how to avoid we are not manipulated", mentioned Ina Duca, another participant of the training session.
In the following sessions, the experience and good practices at the international level in combating disinformation will be discussed. Participants will also be trained on the role of journalists in combating disinformation, etc.
The project "Supporting Critical Thinking and Resisting Disinformation in the Republic of Moldova", implemented by IDIS "Viitorul" from January 2023 to October 2024, is financially supported by the Embassy of Finland in Bucharest.
IDIS "Viitorul" is an independent think tank established in 1993 that combines social, political and economic research with strong advocacy components. The institution conducts applied monitoring research on several areas: economics, social policy, EU policies, regional development, but also security and foreign policy risks.
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