Google to launch anti-disinformation campaign in eastern Europe

25 August, 02:15 PM
The company is launching a project to combat fakes about refugees from Ukraine (Photo:maglara/Depositphotos)

The company is launching a project to combat fakes about refugees from Ukraine (Photo:maglara/Depositphotos)

Google’s subsidiary Jigsaw is launching a social media campaign to combat disinformation about Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, news agency Reuters reported on Aug. 25.

The campaign envisages a series of short videos, based on research by universities of Cambridge and Bristol, to be promoted across Google search results, YouTube, as well as Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook. It aims to make people more resilient to psychological manipulation and the spread of anti-refugee narratives.

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“If you tell people what's true and false, a lot of people will dispute it...but what you can predict are the techniques that will be used in spreading misinformation, like with the Ukrainian crisis,” said Jon Roozenbeek, lead author of a report on the research behind the campaign.

The initial rollout will focus on Poland, as the country has absorbed the largest number of Ukrainian refugees, and will then expand to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

“We are thinking of this as a pilot experiment, so there's absolutely no reason that this approach couldn't be scaled to other countries,” said Beth Goldberg, head of research at Jigsaw.

Russia is conducting a far-reaching propaganda campaign, smearing Ukrainian refugees, Ukraine’s Armed Forces, and Kyiv’s Western partners.

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