#WomenAreNATO learn how to combat disinfo

new project for the youth now launched

9 November 2020

The project “WomenAreNATO learn to combat disinfo” engages students, specifically females, in active debunking and challenging disinformation narratives in Central Europe (V4 countries).

The project “WomenAreNATO learn to combat disinfo” engages students, specifically females, in active debunking and challenging disinformation narratives in Central Europe (V4 countries). The project is carried out between mid-October and December but will ensure that learned experience in the project will become sustainable and replicable through new multimedia social media content as well as non-paid engagement for top achievers. 

As we need NATO to defend our borders, we need more conscious media consumers’ behaviour to defend our information sovereignty understood as society’s intrinsic ability to distinguish and debunk false narratives while upholding a pluralistic media space. In order to achieve this, it is essential to develop media literacy especially among the most “endangered” younger generation that is vulnerable to anti-Western conspiracy theories while consuming most of the political news from social media. Moreover as the Council of Foreing Affairs observes in an article on Gendered Disinformation, Fake News, and Women in Politics (https://www.cfr.org/blog/gendered-disinformation-fake-news-and-women-politics) while women role in society, politics and security fields are one of the main targets of disinformation campaigns there is little response to that. WomenAreNATO by the Visegrad Insight is a project designed specifically to link female role models with future achievers. 

Throughout the project’s steps we were concentrated on giving a clear message about the negative role of disinformation campaigns played in our societies. The aforementioned steps included:

  1. A competition that required a self-made multimedia presentation on one selected disinfo narrative in any of the languages of Visegrad Four countries;
  2. online seminars with NATO PDD, investigative journalists and experts on information sovereignty and media partners; and
  3. A simulation game.

All these activities will build for a larger activity that will keep students from across V4, experts, and diplomats engaged, and with its publicity have a larger impact on the general public, especially the youth.

This project has two main complementing objectives:

  • Better recognition of the benefit of NATO-membership, the advantages of being part of the transatlantic community and raising awareness about the multiple threats posed by subversive foreign disinformation campaigns.
  • Resilience building among young female (18-33) generations in V4 countries, who are underrepresented in political discourse. Awareness raising, better understanding of the drive of hostile Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns, and the importance of information sovereignty.

The project is co-sponsored by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

 

Project highlights:

 

Magda Jakubowska

Vice President and Director of Operations at the Res Publica Foundation. One of her flagship projects regarding women empowerment in security, NATO’s campaign: #WomenAreNATO, has garnered considerable international interest.

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