Debunking Fake News on the Federal Election:O2 and Stiftung Digitale Chancen launch education campaign for seniors against disinformation
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 and Stiftung Digitale Chancen are today launching the educational campaign „Faktisch betrachtet – fit gegen Fake News“ for older people on the topic of disinformation on the Internet. The core of the education is an information package that ranges from a checklist for debunking false information to explanatory videos and various event formats. The materials can also be used by trainers as part of continuing education programs. The campaign is prompted by the upcoming German parliamentary elections on September 26, 2021. A Forsa survey showed that 82 percent of respondents are concerned that the election results could be manipulated by political disinformation campaigns. The awareness campaign is part of the "Digital mobil im Alter" program, which has already been implemented by both partners since 2012.
"Thanks to digitization, we have new forms of information transfer. As a rule, this is very valuable. In exceptional cases, it leads to the spread of disinformation and propaganda. It is part of our self-image that we provide people with safe and self-determined access to digitization. This also includes giving older people the tools they need to identify misinformation - and not just for the Bundestag elections," says Valentina Daiber, Member of the Management Board, responsible for Legal and Corporate Affairs at Telefónica Germany / O2. "Especially in the run-up to the Bundestag elections, we can expect to see an increase in false reports and disinformation on the Internet aimed at deliberately influencing the formation of political opinion. With our package of measures as part of the 'Digital mobil im Alter' program, we are empowering older people to form their own, uninfluenced and informed political opinions," explains Jutta Croll, CEO of Stiftung Digitale Chancen.
According to the latest "Digital Skills Gap" study by Initiative D21, a good half of respondents aged 60 and over believe they can distinguish serious from dubious news on the Internet - among respondents aged 75 and over, the figure is only 37 percent (D21 Digital Index 2020/2021). With increasingly digital election campaigns, this uncertainty also has an impact on participation in the democratic process. The package of measures at www.telefonica.de/senioren to uncover disinformation is intended to provide more security in dealing with digital technologies and includes:
- Target group-oriented explanatory videos that use examples to address the various types of false reports and the motives for their spread, and show how to debunk them through source and fact checks, for example.
- A guide with a checklist on the topic of "fake news" and further links. The materials help to assess whether a news item is a hoax or trustworthy information.
- An interactive online quiz "Fact or Fake?" that lets you playfully apply your newfound knowledge.
O2 enables self-determined participation in the digital world
The initiative is one of many measures Telefónica Deutschland / O2 is taking to enable people of all ages to participate safely in the digitalized world. To this end, the company offers competence-promoting initiatives such as the "wakeup.jetzt" anti-cyberbullying program and support for the online counseling platform of Cybermobbing-Hilfe e.V., the "Digital mobil im Alter" program, and support for customers on digital topics via workshops, hotlines and chats, messaging, videos, or in personal conversations. Almost 10 million people are to be reached in this way in 2021 alone.