The Disinformation Games

Your safe space for games and challenges related to misinformation and disinformation!

Case study: Chemtrails: just a sci-fi stuff or a real danger?

This case study is aimed at making the learner aware of the different issues related the construction and spreading of disinformation. The learner has to devise if one of the most famous conspiracy theories, chemtrails, is true or not. While searching for materials and opinions in favour or against chemtrails as a real aerial danger for people, the learner will face with both the history and the scientific foundations of the chemtrails theory, its diffusion trough social media, the ways in which it is possible to dismantle the theory itself, and the business opportunities of spreading false theories through the believers.


sci-fi or

real danger?

Recommended for: university students (especially in science/technology courses) highschool students

Available building blocks: 3

Tags: environment, pollution, conspiracy theories

Tips for educators

Building block 3. Marketing and e-commerce of chemtrails' products

Chemical trails as a marketing stunt for conspirators: some comments, and examples from the Internet marketplace.

Suggested resources

1. The Best Way to Quash Fake News? Choke Off Its Ad Money  [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

2. INFLUENCE FOR SALE! Fake News Merchandise [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

3. Search results for "Chemtrails" in the Book section [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

4. Search results for "Chemtrails" in Ebay [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes represent the competences which learners are expected to develop as a result of the training intervention:

1. The learner will able to explain why spreading certain types of disinformation has an economic relevance

Suggested teaching methods

> Form opinions and formulate arguments (Systemic Causality, Motivated Cognition, Frames and Framing)
> Discuss (Frames and Framing)
> Apply source and fact checking to a set of resources (Systemic Causality)
> Re-evaluate (Frames and Framing)
> Brainstorming, mindmapping (Systemic Causality, Motivated Cognition)

Suggested learning activities

Duration: 30 min

> Be persuasive in your introduction, address explicitly the theme of disinformation, and how disinformation architects can have a profit intent to the detriment of believers.

> Select materials with a possibly plain and objective style: present at first sources no. 3, and 4 with few or no comments, and let start a first discussion round; then present sources no. 1, and 2.

> Groups are unnenecessary in this building block but you can maintain them for a small debate.

> A brief wrap-up discussion will close the building block, where the teacher will summarize the learned lesson.

De Facto pillars

Introduce the building block (Systemic causality, Equivalence and Emphasis frame) Teamwork and group discussion (Systemic causality, Motivated Cognition, Frames and framing) Searching for information, and diversify information sources (Systemic causality) Debate (Systemic causality, Motivated Cognition, Frames and framing) Wrap-up discussion (Systemic causality)


You have selected a topic from the Disinformation Games area. Please be advised that this area hosts, or links to, resources that contain misinformation or disinformation. The presence of such materials is to assist in developing and sustaining skills for navigating and detecting disinformation. To achieve this goal – and with clear intent – none of the materials are explicitly marked as true or not true.