On Wednesday September 28, we held a kick-off event of the Hacknime.to project during which we together with the Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic introduced the aim of the project and the topic of the first hackathon of the series.
Tomas Ocenas, CEO of Campus Cowork and Juraj Hostak, director of the department of innovations and smart agenda at MIRRI opened the event. After the official welcome and introduction of our cooperation the panel discussion started. We hosted experts on the fight against disinformation Tomas Krissak from Gerulata Technologies, Robert Barca from the French press agency AFP and Daniel Milo from the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.
The main topic of the first hackathon that is happening on October 7th – 8th is the fight against disinformation and importance of media literacy. Our guests were focusing on information flow, the amount of information we consume daily and the influence it may have on individuals and society.
Did you miss the event? The entire discussion is available on Campus YouTube channel, or continue reading for the highlights.
What influences how much of the information we consume is true and how to avoid hoaxes?
As Daniel Milo described, firstly it is important to evaluate the source of the information, which social media we are using, and who we are following. Media mix varies from person to person and therefore it’s not possible to count the percentage of true vs false information consumed. The most efficient tool for each and every one of us is to focus on media that provide information aligned with the objective truth.
When consuming any kind of information it is common for critically thinking people to further consider and fact-check its content. However, an extraordinarily skeptical person can look for other sources just to confirm the conviction he/she had before. Checking the information is a great tool and we all should use it, but it is necessary to focus on the previous step as well. “What if I am full of prejudice and therefore I am just trying to comply with my belief and protect it at any cost?” Thought Tomas Krissak.
Objective truth – does it exist?
An opinion is a subjective view on a certain topic. Disinformation is on the other hand a message that is created and shared with the aim to deceive the widest possible public.
As T. Krissak explained, even the fact that the question “if there is an objective truth” exists is a warning. He mentioned a quote from his favorite author Shoshana Zuboff, that we live in a society in which we have learned to question the most basic things. “We can see it in the information space, where pretense and lies thrive,” he added.
Robert Barca added that social media democratized the creation and distribution of content. To ensure that the social media business model is viable the promoted content needs to drive the attention of lots of people. Unfortunately, it is scandalous and polarizing information that meets this attribute. Such a situation, deregulation of the social media and lack of transparency of the algorithms used turn them into an effective tool of hostile regimes
Media literacy and education
The discussion then moved towards media literacy, the necessity to incorporate it into the educational system, and the values that we teach our children. When a child possesses such information he/she will be able to make her own critical opinion when being confronted with ideas that are opposing these values. D. Milo also emphasized the importance of gamification in the educational process.
Are you interested in this topic and would you like to join an initiative looking for smart digital solutions to fight disinformation and increase media literacy? Do not hesitate, become part of Hacknime.to project and apply for the Let’s hack disinformation hackathon. Only a few days are left to join!