Bee Secure (a play on words on be e-secure) has developed a number of projects concerning cybersecurity throughout Luxembourg over the past few years. Its latest campaign, in collaboration with the National Youth Service (SNJ), is targeting the spread of fake news.

After highlighting action against cyberbullying, browsing the internet carefully and more, Bee Secure is now taking action against a very modern issue, fake news and misinformation online.

The new campaign entitled "Check your Facts: gleef net alles um Internet" (translated to 'don't believe everything on the internet') will offer support to teachers in primary and secondary schools when it comes to teaching media and IT skills.

As Bee Secure's Jeff Kaufmann explains, the campaign will centre around three question topics, namely: "To start with: Who is hiding behind this information? Who posted it? Secondly: What source did the poster use? Is this a reliable source, a serious press agency? Or simply a blog found online? And finally: What do others say about the same topic?"

Broadly, the campaign will help teach young people to not take everything online at face value, to begin questioning sensationalist posts, and learn to consult various sources.

Training sessions to raise awareness

The methodology of the awareness campaign is to provide a brief introduction, training sessions, and then move on to concrete examples.

Young people will have these examples and will need to work together to verify information and debunk misinformation. Classes will both discuss news that they've read on a fictional information portal and even create their own fake news story, the latter in order to understand the process.

But, as Kaufmann stresses, the training sessions go beyond text-based content. Kaufmann says that the sessions will confront students with photographs, as nowadays examples of photo and video manipulation are rife. The sessions will use faces to show students how to know whether the photo is real or produced by artificial intelligence.

Awareness for adults and seniors too

The campaign against misinformation will not just target young people. During the course of the campaign, the targeted demographic will glow. George Metz, SNJ director, explains that the plan is to address parents in an efficient manner. Working together with parents helps curb the spread of misinformation, as parents are likely to notice something suspect.

But the campaign will also go beyond young people and their parents. Many of us have at times had to explain to older internet users that they cannot take things at face value. Working with the Ministry of Family Affairs, Bee Secure will endeavour to educate senior citizens on the pitfalls of misinformation through their 'Silver surfers' sessions. Whilst the content of debunking fake news will remain the same, the presentation will be different.

Finally, Bee Secure is developing a training project for adults, due to be available at the end of the year. This is likely to be in collaboration with the Centre for Political Training and will focus on disinformation in political coverage.