Project „COVID disinformation and negative impact on ability to prevent pandemic“ is a project on tools to eliminate disinformation on COVID kindly sponsored and provided by Visegrad Fund.
Disinformation has become part of the ‘hybrid war’. They are omnipresent in our lives. Social, but also off-line media are disseminating disinformation across wide public. Public opinion pools illustrate that a majority of the public considers at least some disinformation to be true and relevant. There have been many attempts to map disinformation sources and tackle them from the rational point of view e.g. the project Demagog in Czech and Slovakia. Governmental institutions are also trying to tackle disinformation, e.g. Czech Ministry of Interior has tried to uncover COVID disinformation. Why it does not work? These approaches are mostly based on fact checking and trying to tackle disinformation in a very rational way. Which is critically important, but it is not really efficient as humans are not rational. Most of human behavior is non-conscious and absolutely not rational.
The aim of the project is intended to:
1) Raise awareness about the spreading of fake news. Demonstrate that disinformation become omnipresent in human lives, and it touches all aspects of public policy. Focus on COVID-related misinformation and show how it limits ability to drive preventive actions
2) Identify dissemination strategies in terms of
a. Sources: Demonstrate the potential to identify initial sources of disinformation utilizing social listening and artificial intelligence based on natural language processing
b.Content: Identify different types of disinformation, and demonstrate how their mechanics are anchored in ‘behavioral biases‘, which drives both their impact and dissemination. Demonstrate how disinformation is polarizing society.
c. Touchpoints: Identify touchpoints relevant for vulnerable groups (media, transportation, offices)
d.Amplifiers: Potential of technology and social media to disseminate disinformation through utilizing of AI algorithms that identify target audience.
3) Prevention via proposing strategies and tactics to minimize the impact of disinformation in V4 countries anchored in human behavior and particularly media consumption patterns.
The project has been proposed by CSAP (Center for Security Analysis and Prevention), Prague, Czech Republic in cooperation with our dearest V4 partners Schuman Institute, Hungary, Res Publica, Poland and Univerzita Mateja Bela, Slovakia.