We live in the information age. Internet access equals access to information – access to a multitude of sources and opinions, and to people living all around the world. The boundaries between the “online” and “offline” world have blurred and this is especially the case for young people. The question is whether younger generations have enough knowledge and the will to consume information and do they consume information, or are they being consumed by the data?
ISAC, with the support of GLOBSEC, worked on a project aimed to raise the awareness of young people about the widespread false news and problem of disinformation – the security challenges that have been arising.
The result of the project is twofold:
- ISAC conducted field research and focus groups with young people from two high schools (Irig and Belgrade) and students from the University of Belgrade and the University of Nis. The results of this research are part of the report “From Online Battlefield to Loss of Trust?” which includes research done in eight European countries, among young people between the ages of 18 and 24. Focus groups were made in Central and South-Eastern Europe, and the report seeks to understand the complexity of life and thinking of today’s youth and its impact on the political and social reality of the aforementioned societies.
- In cooperation with Marka Žvaka, ISAC worked on a video which in a humorous and interesting way talks about conspiracy theories as one of the forms of disinformation. The video consists of short interviews with students from the University of Belgrade trying to find out what are the current conspiracy theories and whether they affect the perception of reality and the formation of the opinion of young people, while scientific workers tried to give an explanation of this phenomenon.
It was our pleasure to be part of this educational project, to work with the young and to spark thinking about these security challenges they face every day. We look forward to continuing our work dealing with disinformation and young people in the New Year.