The #IMMUNE Narrative
The #IMMUNE-Narrative explains how the #IMMUNE Project approached the topic of fake news and disinformation. Accordingly, fake news and disinformation are able to exert such a disruptive effect on the societal and political communication because they can make use of the methodologies and technologies developed for personalised online marketing. Hyper-personalisation that is dominating every aspect of our life online disrupt communication channels between individual people and between societal groups. This has also important ramifications on the way the society resolves societal conflicts and pressurises democratic political processes. The same methodologies allow political and social agitators to reach their targeted audience with high precision and make them promote their content among people that are most receptive for it.
The #IMMUNE Project approaches this phenomenon by making educators, youngsters and adolescents aware on the fact that already their average online media consumption and social media usage has a negative impact on our democracy. The #IMMUNE Exercises help educators, youngsters and adolescents in keeping a critical distance to the online media that they consume and withstand the emotional manipulation efforts by disinformation attempts. Eventually, they are also trained in how not to participate in the distribution of fake news and disinformation and how to withstand the polarising effects of online media dynamics.
The #IMMUNE Country Studies
The #IMMUNE Country Studies give a first impression about how youngsters and educators in the three #IMMUNE partner countries Germany, Greece and Italy deal with fake news and disinformation and how they evaluate their online usage in general. Therefore, the Country Studies present the results of interviews with youngsters and adolescents and focus groups with educators with different backgrounds in formal and information education contexts. Furthermore, the #IMMUNE Country Studies give an overview about public and private initiatives to counter fake news. They end with the conclusion that neither youngsters nor educators are well aware of the interconnectedness between disinformation and the dynamics of their average online communication.