Hack the Fake: Fighting Disinformation

Disinformation, Propaganda, and Fake News have always existed. What sets today apart from earlier times is the rapid dissemination and global reach via the internet and especially through social media platforms. In the short-term disinformation can be used to distract, to obscure the truth, or to inspire its readers to take a certain course of action. In the long-term disinformation can be part of a strategy to shape the information environment in which individuals, governments, and other actors form beliefs and take decisions. It is also used to degrade public trust in media and democratic and state institutions, and to amplify social division, resentment, and fear. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the problem of disinformation given the significant amount of fake news that was being spread throughout the crisis. Based on our responsibility towards Lebanon and the region in combatting COVID-19 and its effects and our commitment to better equip the youth with leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation skills that help them create a positive change in their societies, we provide this opportunity for university students to learn more about the topic of disinformation and sharpen their entrepreneurship and technical skills by creating effective and sustainable solutions to various aspects of this problem.

This event is the opening ceremony of a hackathon that will spend the entire evening. Join us with guest speakers from AUB and USJ, as well as a keynote speech by Ann Cathrin Riedel.

The two and a half-day hackathon will provide a unique opportunity for university students to spend a weekend of their time looking at effective solutions related to specific problems related to the fake news and disinformation topic. Students will work in preferably inter-disciplinary teams that have complementary skills such as technical skills, design skills, business and entrepreneurship skills and public speaking skills to name a few.

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