Disinformation: Primer & Countermeasures

Disinformation deceives people to win elections, while they public doesn't even recognize how they are being manipulated.

3 mins read
Source: Political Cartoons via Democracy Labs.

How is disinformation created? Spread? What can be done to counter it? DROG researches and develops strategies against disinformation. Here’s what it recommends along with a free online simulator to test your skills in creating and countering disinformation.


“Disinformation can be countered by changing search engines’ and social media sites’ algorithms, blocking suspect websites, mounting awareness campaigns and through education. The most effective method is to foster critical and well-informed news consumers. Knowledge and education are by far the best weapons against disinformation.

Inoculation theory, based on social psychology explains that people are able to build up a resistance against false or misleading information by being presented with a weakened version of a misleading argument before being exposed to the “real” thing. If you can recognize it, you can resist it. Think of it as a kind of “vaccination” against misleading information.”

Fighting disinformation

DROG is based in the Hague and includes academics, journalists and media-experts. They conduct research, offer educational programs and create innovative tools to build resistance against disinformation. DROG believes that “the best way to learn to recognize disinformation is to create it yourself. By taking on the role of a fake news-monger, people can learn how ‘real’ dis-informants spread their lies. This, in turn, builds up resistance”.

Bad news

Bad News is social impact game in which you take on the role of a propagandist. Enter the shadowy world of online deceit and rise to power. Build your army of online trolls and spread conspiracies to influence the public debate and contemplate the dangerous implications disinformation can have on your daily life and society as a whole.

DROG and the University of Cambridge have developed an innovative vaccine to show how various tactics are used to spread deceitful messages. Try it!

Play the game

Once you start making disinformation you’ll discover how easy it is. You’ll go from running your own blog to managing a news network, an army of social media bots and getting elected.”

Discover the power of disinformation!
Focus on emotional issues to prevent rational discussion!
Get millions of followers, disregard the cost!

It’s free! Play the game  and you’ll also win this free guide.

A free resource from Public Data Labs about false viral news, political memes and trolling practices.


Disinformation is a cancer that kills democracies from the inside. Countering it, like any disease demands research and collaboration. DemLabs continuously scouts for innovative solutions. Please share other useful resources and we’ll gladly review and share them. Thank you!

Co-Founder, DemLabs

Please share this bulletin. DemLabs is a SF-based, progressive hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation with free and affordable apps. Donate here to support our work.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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