Kai Unzicker

Disinformation - A Challenge for Democracy

Attitudes and perceptions in Europe

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Date of publication
1. edition
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In production


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Disinformation refers to false information that is spread with the intention of causing harm or creating uncertainty. For democracy in Europe, disinformation poses a significant challenge. Not least because artificial intelligence can generate and disseminate new and targeted information ever more quickly. This study conducted by the "Upgrade Democracy" project examined how people in the European Union perceive and respond to the issue of disinformation. The study reveals that a majority of people feel uncertain when it comes to assessing the truthfulness of information on the internet. Many have also encountered disinformation themselves. Over 80 percent of respondents in this survey expect both politics and social media platform operators to take more action against the spread of disinformation.

The data for this “Upgrade Democracy” study was collected through the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Eupinions project. Four times a year, the team at Latana conducts an online survey on behalf of Bertelsmann in all 27 EU member states. The survey data used in this study was collected in March 2023 and involved 13,270 EU citizens aged between 16 and 70. Data is weighted by gender, age and region. However, due to the structure of the sample, additional separate values can only be shown for seven countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

Related projects

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 Social Cohesion

We measure social cohesion, thus providing a better understanding of current societal trends. We help communities activate their potential in strengthening cohesion and foster partnerships that improve communal life.

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