Lukas Bernhard, Leonie Schulz, Cathleen Berger, Kai Unzicker

Disconcerted Public

Super election year 2024: Concerns about disinformation in Germany and the United States

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Date of publication
1. edition


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In the Super Election Year 2024, Germany and the USA face the challenge of effectively countering disinformation. Our comprehensive study sheds light on this issue and compares the situation in both countries.  

A representative survey of over 5,000 individuals in Germany and more than 2,000 individuals in the USA, conducted in October 2023, provides valuable insights. We examined how frequently people encounter disinformation and how confidently they assess information on the internet. Additionally, our findings highlight which topics, channels, and actors contribute significantly to the perception of disinformation. 

The results are alarming: a clear majority in both the USA and Germany view disinformation as a significant threat to democracy and social cohesion. The role of trust in the media is of particular interest as a crucial factor in dealing with disinformation. 

The study not only provides an inventory but also concrete deductions and recommendations. It thus offers guidance on how Germany and the USA can better equip themselves to counter disinformation and protect democratic processes. 

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Cover Upgrade Democracy

Democracy is changing, not least in digital spaces. We mustn’t passively standby but get active. It is time for an upgrade for public discourse (societal level), infrastructures (systemic level), and foresight capabilities (political level). In our project “Upgrade Democracy”, we build bridges between diverse, international actors and disseminate solutions that successfully counter disinformation in their respective contexts and/or innovatively use digital tools to strengthen democracy.

Cover Reinhard Mohn Prize

"To innovate, learn and make a difference works best by throwing a glance over our frontiers."

(Reinhard Mohn)

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