We are living in an era where simple facts are not as simple as they seem to be at the beginning. So called post-fact era is at its beginning and nobody really knows what it will look like in the future. Fake news and disinformation are becoming mainstream and have impact on the future societies and electoral turnouts. Their main strength is the ability to adapt to the perception of online users. It’s feeding the basic stereotypes and prejudices of online users. Fake news and disinformation are becoming a powerful weapon for extremists, foreign forces and third parties that are willing to influence the development of regions, countries, or international organisations. These negative messages are also changing the behaviour of the individuals in the societies, and they are becoming more and more polarized. Societies are turning back from the mainstream politics and media and they are becoming less critical to the context that they are reading. This trend was seen in the results from the Media Literacy Index 2019 and with comparison to the year 2017.
CEE countries regress most with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland marked the biggest deterioration. They were followed by Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary and Romania and Austria, Malta, and Serbia. The lack of critical and contextual thinking in the post-truth era also caused the gap and distrust between citizens. COVID-19 pandemic widened this gap and created a unique info-pandemic environment that affected all of us, but especially young people sitting at home in front of their computers, because of lockdowns and restrictions.
The main aim of the project proposal is to debunk social bubbles that are emerging in the online sphere that are dividing our future generation. Our proposal is based on our former research project that develops a set of questions to uncover who is vulnerable to become affected by their own social bubbles created in the online sphere. With the help of these research deliverables and current data we will design a special set of training for young leaders, young community leaders and young public figures who are fighting in their local and national communities to fight with fake, misleading information and are guardians of true information in the post-true world.
Our attention is also to develop and design an interactive web application that will help young people to check on their level of “bubble vulnerability” and to help them to understand the negative impact on them in real life. This will be also accomplished with an awareness campaign that will be designed with the help of young leaders and spread through their channels and followers.