Gesprek | Diagnosis: Disinformed
Why we fall for it – and how we build immunity

Activiteit van Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam

Datum: donderdag 2 november 2023 om 17:00 uur
Locatie: SPUI25, Spui 25-27, Amsterdam / Online
Informatie: Voertaal: Engels
Toegang: Gratis. Aanmelden via

Desinformatie is in al haar verschillende vormen een van de grote bedreigingen voor de moderne democratie. Ze zorgt voor polarisatie, radicalisering en kan aanzetten tot geweld. Samen met deskundigen Marina Weisband en Marije Arentze spreken wij deze avond over de verwoestende kracht van desinformatie. We kijken naar voorbeelden uit Rusland, Duitsland en Nederland en discussiëren over hoe wij weerbaar, "immuun" kunnen worden tegen nepnieuws. Is mediawijsheid een effectief tegengif? Of is er meer nodig? Moderatie: Wiebke Pittlik (DIA)

In all its various forms, disinformation is one of the great threats to modern democracy. Especially in times of crisis, fake news and conspiracy theories fall into fertile ground. Through new technologies and social media channels, disinformation spreads at lightning speed - and divides society. We saw that happening during the corona crisis and we see it now in the war in Ukraine. Indeed, disinformation can radicalize people and incite them to violence. Putin's war, but also the right-wing attacks in Halle and Hanau in Germany and the burning of 5G transmission masts in the Netherlands are examples of this.

Together with disinformation experts Marina Weisband (online) and Marije Arentze (on-site), we will be talking about the devastating power of fake news and conspiracy theories. Why do people fall for disinformation? And how do they subsequently radicalize? What psychological mechanisms underlie it? We look at examples from Russia, Germany and the Netherlands, the hidden messages and conspiracy theories that play a role in this and reflect on how we as a society can become resilient to disinformation and radicalization. Is media literacy an effective recipe? Or does it take more?

About the speakers:

Marina Weisband is a German-Ukrainian psychologist and expert on disinformation, digital participation and education. From 2011 to 2012, she was the political director of the Pirate Party Germany. Today, she is involved with the German Green Party in the areas of digitalization and education. Since 2014 she has been leading the project “aula” for political education and liquid-democratic participation, allowing pupils/students to have a say in the rules and affairs of their schools.

Marije Arentze is a Dutch expert on Eastern Europe and disinformation, with experience in journalistic innovation and social entrepreneurship. She focuses on Russian disinformation and developing interventions against deception. She is a researcher and lecturer at the Fontys Hogeschool of Journalism, where she teaches courses on innovation and cybersecurity. She previously worked at DROG, a start-up that applies the latest insights from social psychology to develop interventions against online manipulation. 

Wiebke Pittlik is editor-in-chief at Duitslandweb, the journalistic platform of the Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam (DIA).  


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