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Webinar: Thinking like a troll. Fighting disinformation campaigns in the context of integration of migrants  

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​​​​The European Committee of the Regions together with the European Commission would like to invite you to take part in an interactive webinar focusing on fighting disinformation in the context of integration of migrants and refugees. Register by Tuesday 12 May eob.

Research and everyday life show that disinformation activities and manipulation of public perceptions by the use of hostile narratives and emotional messaging are thriving. Groups of people of foreign origin, migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees can become easy targets of these activities. Measures and policies aiming at their reception and inclusion into the local communities can be also targeted as such or misused and misrepresented in disinformation campaigns against concrete political forces.

This webinar will provide an introduction into disinformation and anti-disinformation techniques and strategies, including their strengths and weaknesses. Participants will be invited to put these techniques into practice and engage in launching their own disinformation campaign in an imaginary town with a certain proportion of population of foreign origin, looming economic troubles and local elections approaching. As the experienced trainers put it: "In order to understand how disinformation works, we have to start thinking like the bad guys." And there will certainly also be time to try the shoes of the good guys and learn how to prevent these campaigns from being successful and how to put information campaigns into practice.

TRAINERS: IJsbrand Terpstra, DROG; Rivka Otten, DROG

DROG is a multidisciplinary platform of experts on disinformation. They conduct research, give talks, offer workshops and create innovative tools to help people build resistance to disinformation.  Central to their approach is the idea of “thinking like the bad guy": By exposing yourself to the thought processes and tactics of a creator of disinformation, you will be able to recognize it faster in real life. And if you can recognize something, you can resist it.

Through their workshops they provide participants with hands-on tools to spot, understand and counter disinformation. This way participants learn not only how to resist the threats, but also to take action against it.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Good internet connection, audio and video connection

  • Working level of English allowing the participant to follow the different sessions

  • Full engagement to actively participate during the whole webinar, as the pedagogical methodology used will include few group exercises

  • 30 min to spare on a "homework" a couple of days before the webinar takes place. To start the inoculation process against disinformation you may be interested in playing the Bad News on-line game developed by DROG

 

REGISTRATIONS (by Tuesday 12 May eob)

Who is it useful for: staff of the local and regional administration dealing with integration and/or intercultural issues and policies; integration practitioners working at the local/regional level; communication officers; political representatives (local and regional level)

How to register: Please send us an e-mail (to: integration@cor.europa.eu) indicating your name (and e-mail address), the public authority you are working for, your position/function and a short description (1-2 paragraphs) of your motivation and/or challenges your authority is facing and/or your experience with fighting disinformation. This will help us to better tailor the training.

More details will be communicated in good time to the selected participants by e-mail.

ORGANISERS:

Committee of the Regions (CIVEX commission) – contact: integration@cor.europa.eu

European Commission (Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs) – contact: EIN@ec.europa.eu

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Contact:
Organizer: Committee of the Regions - European Commission