Online disinformation

Workbook Exercises

Knowledge Package 5: Workbook exercises 


  1. What are the main challenges to freedom of expression posed by the spread of disinformation? What are the main challenges to freedom of expression posed by efforts to regulate it? 
  1. What makes disinformation different from other kinds of information disorder, like misinformation and malinformation? Do you think disinformation should be treated differently because of its distinctive characteristics? Why or why not?  
  1. Who are the four main stakeholders working on disinformation, and what are the main differences between their efforts to combat it or mitigate its effects/harms?  
  1. We reviewed two initiatives, besides takedowns, that can help to prevent the spread of disinformation, or mitigate the harms it might pose for society. Consider these initiatives, and reflect on any others that you may be familiar with. Which, if any, do you think would be the most useful or effective, and why? 


  1. Covid-19 disinformation 

It has been widely documented that the Covid-19 pandemic has been accompanied by an “infodemic”. This exercise focuses on disinformation relating to Covid-19 (causes, symptoms, how it is spread, lasting effects, cures, vaccinations, effects, post-pandemic prognoses, etc.). Should there be space in public debate for false information that can affect public health? What appropriate and effective responses have been developed at the national level? This exercise creates space for critical reflection on the relevance of this specific type of disinformation in your own country and on the adequacy of relevant responses. 


Give three examples of how Covid-19 related disinformation has caused a threat to freedom of expression or information, media freedom or internet freedom in your country. Explain briefly what responses were taken (if any) and by whom and analyse briefly whether the measures taken were appropriate, proportionate and effective. If no measures were taken, please advise whether it was appropriate not to take any measures and/or which measures should have been taken. Please use the following template:   

# Example Response Analysis/assessment 
  1. Test your spidey senses 

So you’re now an expert in all things disinformation and freedom of expression…but are you ready to put this knowledge to the test? Take this quiz (alone or, even better, with your family or friends) designed by in partnership with Google to put your knowledge to the test.  

Bonus: To see up close how and why disinformation spreads, check out the Bad News Game  (by DROG, a Netherlands-based organisation fighting misinformation). The game is available in multiple languages.