Call for Participants: Disinformation and the Role of Influencers in Times of Conflict

The Aspen Institute Germany in cooperation with Aspen Institute Central Europe, Aspen Institute Romania and Aspen Institute Kyiv invites social media influencers and content creators to apply for a new project aimed at sparking a transnational conversation about how to deal with disinformation online. Through two in-person trips to Berlin and Prague, as well as digital workshops, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their responsibilities, learn from each other, and discuss how to deal with disinformation, including hate speech. Participants will work together on recommendations, which will be presented to policy-makers, social media platforms, and civil society organizations.

Apply by March 20, 2023 and take part in a unique international encounter!

Why this project?

Influencers and content creators have a prominent role in today’s digital information environment. They form opinions and are trusted by their community. At the same time, false or intentionally misleading information is easily spread through social media platforms without much regulation, which is threatening the resilience of democracies. Russia’s war against Ukraine is a case in point of an information war playing out on social media. Influencers can make an essential contribution to the gathering of knowledge and the development of better regulations for a healthy information environment. With their reach and reputation, they also bear a special responsibility, especially when communicating about social and political topics. The project aims for a holistic approach that brings involved actors into the conversation: The influencers themselves but also the platforms on which the influencers are active and the political decision-makers who shape digital policy.

Who can apply?

👉 Are you an active influencers/content creator with at least 15,000 followers on popular social media/messenger channels?
👉 Are you confident in your English abilities?
👉 Do you have followers in Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, or the Baltic States?
👉 Do you have an interest in international exchange and the project’s topics?
👉 Can you actively participate in all of the four meetings?
👉 Are you willing to contribute to the development of recommendations to be presented to policy-makers, social media platforms, and civil society organizations?

What does the Project offer?

Over the course of the year 2023, you will be part of a select international group of 15 participants from Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, and the Baltic States. You will take part in two in-person study tours, one online welcome event, and one mid-term online workshop. For the study tours, you will travel with a distinguished group of influencers/ content creators and Aspen staff to Berlin and to Prague. During the meetings, you will meet high-level speakers from the Aspen network, academics, experts, and decision-makers, exchange lessons-learned with other influencers, discuss mechanisms of disinformation and their dissemination via social media, and how to counter them. You will take away new learnings and help provide important insights in a highly relevant subject matter. We would like you to make friends and stay in contact with other participants after the project, so you can exchange ideas and best practices in the future.


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