Widespread mis- and disinformation fuels distrust, division, and violence worldwide. For instance, misinformation has played a role in promoting violent attitudes within the Central African Republic and exacerbating divisions between different groups in Libya. Disinformation campaigns have been used by political actors in countries such as the DRC, Libya, and Colombia to influence elections and peace processes, posing a threat to the stability of entire regions. These are just some examples of the harmful effects caused by the spread of false information. Despite these alarming impacts, there is limited rigorous evidence on what programs are effective in combating the dissemination of unreliable information and its impact on drivers of conflict.
In this interactive workshop, participants will engage with experts to discuss and develop innovative solutions to address ongoing research needs regarding mis- and disinformation. To begin the session, staff from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) will present a brief overview of lessons learned from randomized evaluations and facilitate a conversation between panelists about their efforts to combat these issues. Panelists from BBC Media Action and Fondation Hirondelle will share their experiences using and evaluating media to strengthen access to reliable information in conflict affected areas, countering the spread of information that is false or misleading. Interpeace will address the risks that mis- and disinformation brings to their peacebuilding efforts and share strategies to mitigate these risks. The moderator will pose open questions that explore gaps in the research on what works to limit the harmful impacts raised by panelists. Participants will then grapple with these challenges in a facilitated small-group, hands-on activity designed to develop potential solutions. The workshop will reconvene to share collective insights with input from the panel of experts.