What is the true cost of disinformation?

Monday 31 January 2022

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78 billion dollars: this is the total cost of misinformation and the spread of fake news. According to the website Statista 2020, taking into account the spread of fake-news in the financial, political and healthcare fields, the worldwide economic loss resulting from this proliferation is about 78 billion dollars. But the damage is not only economic: the real loss is the feeling of general disorientation caused by a constant flow of disinformation.

Citizens from all over the world are questioning the use of social media, which is considered the least reliable source of information in 2020. Trust in the traditional media is also declining, with 53% of respondents considering it reliable.[1]

In this era of disinformation and post-truth in which we live, what is the role of each of us?

The MEGA project consortium has asked itself this question and over the last two years has worked towards a single goal: to strengthen as much as possible the critical thinking of individuals, especially young people, who spend a large part of their daily life on social media, exchanging data and getting information. Young people need to learn the importance of getting information in the right way, using special verification tools (fact-checking, checking sources, checking the author, etc.). Undoubtedly, social media represent a particularly fertile ground for the spread of fake news. In fact, the combination of the ease of circulating fake news and the impunity for those who share it are just some of the factors that make social networks particularly dangerous and difficult to manage.

Thanks to MEGA we have developed innovative tools, black stories, quizzes and an online gamified platform, where young people can register for free, inform themselves and try out the quizzes created by the partners in order to expose the so-called “Euromyths” – false myths and fake news about the European Union.

On the 25th of January 2022, the Final Conference of the project took place online: it was an important moment of confrontation and information, during which the consortium was able to collect the fruits of the project work carried out during these two years.

We firmly believe in the need to educate to a greater digital well-being, especially for the new generations who spend much more time in social media and need to have the necessary tools to exercise their critical thinking.

Thanks to all those who have accompanied us on this journey!

If you would like to know more about the gamified learning approach and the MEGA platform or for more information about the results of the MEGA project, please write to Martina Romano at martina.romano@cesie.org or visit the MEGA website.

About the project

MEGA – Make Europe Great Again is cofinanced by Erasmus+ programme, KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnerships for youth. MEGA aims to foster critical thinking in young people so they can better unmask Europhobic myths and misconceptions about the European Union and to develop positive attitudes toward the European Union and its underlying values.

Partners

For further information

Read more about MEGA and visit the project website.

Contact Martina Romano: martina.romano@cesie.org.


[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/381455/most-trusted-sources-of-news-and-info-worldwide/

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