Conspiracy theories are a distinct subset of disinformation. And they are - and will be - with us forever, as even dormant theories are frequently revived because new generations discover them for the first time and find them fascinating.
De-bunking individual theories has a very limited reach and role in the long-term relationship between society and conspiracies. Continuing and building upon our previous work in the field of disinformation, we want to study in detail the typology, specific characteristics, cognitive mechanisms and impact vectors of conspiracy theories.
We will stay in the realm of education, where still little or no work is being done, and engage teachers and learners in practical scenarios where they deconstruct conspiracy theories, explore their various elements, and even test-construct a conspiracy theory of their own. An important part of the project shall be the impact of conspiracy theories on the social systems and in particular the link to active citizenship priority. We know well that disinformation and conspiracy theories in particular aim at undermining public trust and confidence in institutional authority and expertise, sow confusion and instil fear and uncertainty. Hence the development of our own version of an education-centred gullibility test would reveal the extent of potential damage and actual damage.
Learners - and the learning process - are extremely vulnerable to disinformation, often lack appropriate filters, and the schools and academies lack the means to provide a safe information environment. With large amounts of information produced on a mass scale by even novice digital information users, the problem becomes even more pronounced. Its impact goes well beyond personal beliefs and extends to the learning process and learning communication, to personal health, finance, democratic participation and social engagement.
This project brings together 6 partners from 5 EU countries - Bulgaria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy and Slovenia. InTACT is under the coordination of NTCenter and is funded via the Bulgarian National Agency for Erasmus+.
Funding and Legal Disclaimer
The InTACT project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The content of this website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.