Working Together to Challenge Fake News

Working with local schools and communities to help improve digital skills and challenge fake news.

Name project: Disassembling fake news

The challenge 

For more than a decade, Torras i Bages Public Library has been working with the local community to help improve digital literacy in this rural region south-west of Barcelona with a high percentage of economic migrants.

The library staff noticed that many of their service users were struggling to identify trustworthy sources of online information – and to work out what was fake news or not. So they decided to tackle this problem by partnering with other local libraries, schools, education services, municipalities and the University of Barcelona to co-develop a programme that would help improve digital skills for library users and students across the region.

The initiative

The challenge team designed a series of 16 professional workshops, as well as conferences and film screenings that involved schools, families, cultural associations and library users in different locations to help improve understanding of the credibility and quality of both online and offline information. 

By identifying how fake news is created and spread, the initiative wanted to challenge the dissemination of misinformation in future. The goal is to help encourage more informed opinions and debate within the community, by improving access to trusted information and curated knowledge – and by bringing a rich world of knowledge to the region to help expand horizons.

What’s next?

There has already been significant interest in the initiative among teachers in the region, as well as from the Catalan police and social services. The challenge team is keen to make sure the initiative is replicable elsewhere – and there are plans afoot to create a documentary video from the footage taken at each session, which will be available online.

The challenge team will also measure the impact of the initiative on the community using statistical methods – evaluating how this kind of project can impact on maintaining well-informed debates and help democracy in communities across Spain and beyond.

They will adapt what they have learned for the next challenge, which they have already decided will focus on Artificial Intelligence and its interaction with information quality.


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