Case study: Disaster reporting
Every time a disaster happens, an enormous amount of disinformation is disseminated in addition to objective and truthful information. This happens according to recurring patterns. In this case study we investigate what good journalism is, what types of disinformation are disseminated over and over again during disasters, why this happens and how we can recognize this disinformation.
Recommended for: higher secondary education students, university students, adult learners
Tags: disasters, conspiracy theories, disinformation, Notre Dame fire
Building block 4. The case of the Notre Dame Fire: how and why is mis- and disinformation produced and spread
Why is mis- and disinformation produced and spread during and in the aftermath of a disaster? Who benefits and makes a profit from it? In this block we will discover and deduct the reasons and the system behind producing and spreading disinformation on the Notre Dame fire.
1. Reasons for spreading misinformation during disasters
https://www.npr.org/2012/11/02/164178388/why-some-spread-misinformation-in-disasters?t=1567622188109 [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
2. Specific information debunking around the Notre-Dame fire
https://religionunplugged.com/news/2019/4/16/our-8-takeaways-on-the-notre-dame-fire [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
https://observers.france24.com/en/20190416-debunked-france-fake-news-notre-dame-fire-paris [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/why-fact-checkers-couldnt-contain-misinformation-about-the-notre-dame-fire/ [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
3. Daily verification quiz:
https://www.bellingcat.com/resources/2017/11/13/daily-verification-quizzes/ [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
4. Inverse image search: Google Image Reverse, TinEye, Bing and Yandex
5. Social media Disaster emergencies
https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/SMWG_Countering-False-Info-Social-Media-Disasters-Emergencies_Mar2018-508.pdf [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2018/02/heres-how-counter-fake-news-during-disaster/146185/ [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
The learning outcomes represent the competences which learners are expected to develop as a result of the training intervention:
1. Determine the techniques used to create mis- and disinformation
2. Clarify why mis- and disinformation is created.
3. Integrate applications to produce and detect mis- and disinformation
3. Recognize which facts and accusations and suspects often are re-used in totally different disasters
5. Design a news report on a disaster with on the internet existing information. Include true and false information in your report.
6. Judge the truthfulness of the information applying all the techniques you learned
7. Determine the objectives of mis- and disinformation creators
Suggested teaching methods
> Use of text, audio, visuals and videos - group assignment: discovering techniques used to create mis- and disinformation
> Discussion groups: problem solving and clarifying: identify the reasons why mis- and disinformation about the Notre Dame fire is generated and spread
> Individual individual assigned searching and reading: determine and practice the most useful technique to solve a specific question about reliability related to the Notre Dame fire
> Gaming and simulation, group assignment: design a partly false and partly true disaster report, and determine a spreading strategy.
> Gaming and simulation: become a data detective by detecting the true and false information in the reports created by your peers
> Presentation, oral report: presentations of the findings
Suggested learning activities
> Icebreaker game "True or false": are these pictures true or false (guessing game)
> Class project: defining a specific problem (fake accounts, recirculated old news, edited videos, wrong photos, coordinated campaigns, misleading texts, misinterpreted media (photos, videos, voice recordings) etc and learn techniques to detect them, related to the Notre Dame Fire. (Inverse image search technique, debunking and fact checking sites, specific searches on internet...)
> Put the truth against the lie: for every lie you detect, try to find the truth, the real account, the right picture based on the reports of the Notre Dame fire
> Story telling (2 by 2): Create a report with true and false information
> Data detective game: Detect the true and false information designed by your peers
> Presentation of the findings
De Facto pillars
Motivated Cognition: in this building block it becomes clear how disinformation about the Notre Dame fire is created and spread.
Systemic Causality: the real causes of the disaster are not always immediately visible and clear. This building block shows the process of making disinformation on the Notre Dame fire easily believable
Frames and Framing: this building block shows how people are guided into the direction of information. sources that are confirming what they want to believe.
Emphasis Frames: this building block shows how information on the Notre Dame fire is specifically made to emphasize only certain aspects.
Additional online tools
Mentimeter (or another poll tool)
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.