Project info


    Combating Social Media Disinformation Among Youth Through Live Action Role Play

  • 2021-2-SE02-KA220-YOU-000051481

  • 01/03/2022 - 01/03/2024

Project info

  • erasmusplus

  • Action Ka220

  • Call 2022

  • CEN

Project Description:

Both EU Parliament and EC highlight the role of social media in distribution of disinformation, undermining EU democracy and questioning our European common values. Despite EU actions (from both 2018 and May 2021) to control social media giants, the social media have appeared to have still be “stirring the pot”. Thousands of Facebook documents revealed by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen demonstrate why of the EU population must develop media literacy skills and exercise their civic engagement and participation in tackling disinformation to make EC’s efforts on preserving EU democracy effective. This especially concerns young people, who constitute the majority of digital citizens of today (45% of the world’s internet users are below 25, according to UN’s #YouthStats).

The youth of today live in the world of diverse social media, densely saturated with disinformation. Particularly when consuming information on social media, they require Media Literacy skills to be able to tell what they can trust. Media literacy can and should be taught to youth, to defend EU values and democracy and preserve youth’s mental health and the future.

Therefore, the problem our project addresses is youth lacking media literacy (ML) skills, required to identify and counteract disinformation in the poorly controlled environment of social media. Social media of today are flourishing with fake news, political propaganda, fabricated / manipulated / sponsored content, deep fakes and other types of disinformation that are still emerging following technological progress. As youth processes information visually, they are

likely to receive information from YouTube influencers rather than from established media outlets. The same time, they do not possess enough ML skills to judge the falsehood of the information they consume: “Navigating the complex online landscape circumspectly requires a certain level of literacy and maturity that children and young people may not have acquired” (UNICEF.)

In today’s difficult times, however, Media Literacy must be endorsed among youth educators as well. Everyone working with youth should increase their own media literacy competence in order to successfully help youth also develop these skills. Furthermore, youth workers and trainers must utilise pedagogical methods that would be effective in teaching modern youth. Specifically, the project will develop the Toolkit, The Guide, and the Mobile Game with disinformation larps

to support youth educators, in order to boost their competences and the resources available to them to promote media literacy, critical thinking and digital competences amongst youth with the ultimate aim to prepare them to take part in a democracy.

The current project proposals seeks to meet these needs by harnessing the enormous potential of popular education (folkbildning). Young people, most of whom are representatives of Gen Z (everyone up to the age 25), want to actively participate in the learning process, be creative, and their learning to be more connected to the real-world (according to the research of Adobe Educate). Popular education (folkbildning) is the foremost way to satisfy this kind of learning needs. As a part of their popular education mission, Studiefrämjandet arranges gaming study circles, with Live Action Role Play (larp) being an in-demand direction among youth. Larp is a combination of re-enactment, storytelling and gaming, when players are given a role and act out their character. Due to larp’s high engagement and connection to the real-world, the project intends to use this tool for teaching young people about disinformation.