Interview of Jiri from Slovakia
- Can you give us your opinion about the project “FAke or FAct “? What is the most important thing you have learned during the training?
Personally, I enjoyed this Training Course so much; it even exceeded my expectations. I loved the theme and the structure of the whole course. Organizers found a perfect balance between teambuilding and outdoor and educational activities, so we were never bored. Even during presentations, they always included some group creative activities to make them more interactive and exciting. I learned how to distinguish fake news from official and verified information. Firstly, we have learned about the history of fake news, the most common fake news, and how to spot them. Later on, we have learned about sources who are spreading this fake news, and we did one activity focused on fake news in our home countries. We finished the course with how to battle fake news and how to check our facts correctly. My favorite activity was the Deep Fake videos. They played us fascinating videos (including Ted Talk from one of the software creators that can generate deep fake videos). Then we discussed Deep Fake videos. Honestly, I found it quite scary how nowadays technologies can “make “someone say something that seems wholly legit but, in reality, is artificially produced video. I am glad I was part of this project as Fake News is one of the main problems of the 21st century, and I am so happy European Union is putting effort through projects like these to battle this issue.
- In your opinion, how can young people deal with propaganda, misinformation, and fake news? Do you have your tips?
We should talk about it more in schools beginning from elementary/middle school because this is the time of life where we are the most influenced by our surroundings. For example, the first time we talked about fake news in the educational environment was in university. As not everyone goes to university, I recommend giving kids lectures about fake news from a younger age. As young people can get very quickly influenced (I can see it by myself on some of my friends) I think it is also important we talk to them as peers and try to educate them in this matter so later they can find out on their own what is true and what is just rumor or fake news. Companies that own social media (as Facebook) should regulate their content more than they do nowadays. I also think politicians should implement more strict laws regulating information in online space. Nowadays, people can say almost anything without being prosecuted, spreading fake news with no fear.
- How do you plan to share and use your knowledge in your local community?
As I am part of the organization Erasmus Student Network Masaryk University (ESN Muni Brno) at my university, I plan to implement all knowledge I gathered with international students at my university. As my organization works solely with international students studying at Masaryk university or local volunteers, my workshop would be for them. I am also part of the “Zvol si info- Mozkem proti Fake news “(Choose your information- With brain against fake news) project that students from the Faculty of Social Studies developed and which aim is to teach the younger generation about fake news. I will use all my new knowledge, and with my peers, we will revise our learning materials. I will see if we missed out on something and add something (for example, I know now we didn’t mention deep fake videos, so I will make an effort to get it included in the new updated version of our study materials).