COVID-19 hit our country very hard, our region (Emilia Romagna) has been one of the most affected, and we experienced a long period of isolation, but we didn’t lose heart and despite the problematic nature of the moment we managed to carry on Get Your Facts Straight!
We rethought the project from a face to face format to online activities, trying to make people understand how important it was to talk about fake news and media literacy, especially at this time. The pandemic has spawned what has been called an infodemia. The web has been flooded with thousands of information including a lot of fake news, increasing the general level of disorientation, and we included in our path a specific part about the fake news explosion on COVID-19 on social platforms.
Despite all the difficulties, the project took place at the end of May and we organized, as Open Group, four webinars on Google Meet platform. Each meeting was designed combining theory and practice. Participants were actively involved through watching short videos and exchanges of points of view, call to action using the tools listed above and quizzes on Kahoot. The participants showed great interest in the topics, asking questions and sharing reflections especially on the various types of disinformation and how to fight them online. They really appreciated the tools shown, many of them told us that they used them right after the webinars.
With the end of the lockdown and the start of phase two, we also organized a further course aimed at young people of our city. This second tranche of the project was carried out face-to-face with a group of 10 young people between 12 and 17 years old. It was very exciting to be able to carry out an activity in presence again. The activity took place in four outdoor meetings, following all the rules of the case, in which young people had the opportunity to approach a theme not completely unknown to them, in a new way. They asked a lot of questions about the various types of disinformation and enjoyed quizzes on Kahoot. It was particularly evident the lack of information regarding the various types of fake news and the tools to fight them, so we are satisfied with the information and tools that we have provided and the reflections we have stimulated on these issues.
With our activities, we reached an audience of 57 participants, 36 adults and 21 young people. Get Your Facts Straight! it’s been a wonderful experience that we very much hope to have again.
Text and images: Open Group Societa’ Cooperativa Sociale Onlus