Disinformation (i.e. deliberately deceptive information) and misinformation (i.e. unintentionally false information) threaten social cohesion and increase polarisation and extremism. Citizens feel a sense of exclusion from decision-making processes, look for easy solutions to complex problems and express their frustrations both online and offline (sometimes – such as during the 2021 Capitol riot – in ways that put the functioning of healthy democracies at risk).

Disinformation has become a security threat, undermining free elections, public security, and public health (as during the COVID-19 pandemic). Cognisant of this challenge, Debating Europe launched a series of focus groups to explore people’s attitudes towards disinformation as a threat to democratic institutions, allowing for a deeper and unbiased understanding of the phenomenon.

So, we launched European Voices for Healthier Democracies: Combatting Disinformation, Misinformation & Fake News. We involved 54 young people (aged 18-35) from our community, hailing from across the EU, and asked them about their experiences with disinformation, misinformation, and trust in information.

Download the report as a PDF here.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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