Disinformation is a ‘hot topic’, especially around the current Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, anti-government/anti-authorities sentiments and accelerationist narratives. This meeting will explore how the (online) street-knowledge of first line practitioners can be used to improve public communications to combat mis- or disinformation. For example, it is important to determine who the target audience is, and frontline practitioners have unique insights into this. It is therefore relevant for practitioners to be advising public communications around ways to handle disinformation.
For the RAN Practitioners C&N Working Group meeting on ‘How to respond to disinformation in public communications from the perspective of frontline practitioners’ we are looking for first-line practitioners and strategic communication experts.
For this meeting we are looking for:
- Practitioners from the C&N constituency who are experienced in dealing with disinformation, promoting media literacy, counter- and alternative narrative campaigns and communications.
- Frontline practitioners with ‘street-level knowledge’, i.e. working with P/CVE in youth work, education or social work.
- Experts on strategic communications from the perspective of (local and national) authorities (like government and police).
The spread of fake news and mis- and disinformation is a growing concern, both on policy level and for practitioners. Conspiracy narratives can push individuals towards (violent) extremist ideologies or groups, and away from trust in government and institutions. A lot of this is happening online.
While some P/CVE practitioners in the RAN Practitioners network are already doing online P/CVE projects or interventions, there are still a lot of challenges in doing this kind of work in an online setting. (Local) Authorities are also struggling with addressing disinformation, especially around narratives that undermine the trust in these authorities. The ‘street knowledge’ of practitioners combined with the experience of online P/CVE work brings opportunities. What makes front-line practitioners unique is their understanding of what makes people vulnerable to deceptive information and violent rhetoric; as well as what can work on an individual level to disengage someone. This knowledge can be used to advise possible ways to address disinformation through public communication.
This meeting aims to bring together P/CVE with street-level knowledge about the narratives that are being spread online and offline, as well as experts on public/strategic communications to discuss exactly how these practitioners can play a role in addressing disinformation in public communications. It is important to keep in mind that this meeting aims to address this in a bottom-up way: practitioners helping public communications in dealing with disinformation. This means that it explicitly does not focus on practitioners echoing the narrative of the government.
This meeting builds upon the needs expressed by the C&N constituency during the RAN Practitioners Plenary 2022 (and where Debunk gave an inspirational speech on the topic of disinformation). Furthermore, it builds on several previous RAN meetings and papers:
- RAN cross-cutting event, The Online Dimension of Extremism and Improving Online P/CVE Efforts, Berlin 27 September 2022.
- RAN Cross-cutting event, Conspiracy narratives and anti-government sentiments in relation to (V)RWE and other forms of extremism, online meeting 26 April 2022.
- RAN C&N Working Group meeting, Digital frontrunners: Key challenges and recommendations for online P/CVE work, Riga 16-17 June 2022.
- RAN Thematic event, Conspiracy narratives and anti-government sentiments in relation to (V)RWE and other forms of extremism, online meeting 16 March 2022.
- RAN Paper, Lessons Learned from Alternative Narrative Campaigns, March 2022.
- RAN C&N Working Group meeting, Effective Narratives: Updating the GAMMMA+ model, Brussels 14-15 November 2019.
As well as on the upcoming RAN small-scale expert meeting on ‘The impact of the Russian war of agression against Ukraine on P/CVE’, planned for February 2023.
- What are the main challenges for public communications in responding to disinformation?
- What unique experiences can P/CVE practitioners bring to the table in responding to disinformation?
- How can the GAMMMA+ model help streamlining the role practitioners can play in public communications responding to disinformation?
Deadline and practical information
If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please answer the questions in the following registration form.
Deadline: Please fill in the form before Friday 24th of February. We will invite participants (and contributors) based on the answers given in the survey and the order of registration.
- Publication date
- 13 February 2023
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs