Be Election Smart

Ahead of the European Elections, EDMO and the EDMO Hubs are promoting a Be Election Smart campaign. The campaign will highlight practical tips and resources to help people develop their media literacy skills.

Be Election Smart Tips:

TIP #6: If in doubt, look for experts and factchecks to verify

If you have doubts about a story or online post, remember independent fact-checkers review content to assess its accuracy.

In Ireland, TheJournal.ie publishes factchecks on its website The Journal FactCheck and Twitter account @TJ_FactCheck. TheJournal also has a Knowledge Bank with key context on elections and coverage of elections

Across Europe, The EDMO Elections Task Force is publishing daily updates about disinformation circulating about the elections https://loom.ly/pyUTNU4 and the European Fact-Checking Standards Network has a database of fact-checked election information https://loom.ly/XuXODcQ

TIP #5: Get your voting information from official sources

Seek out reliable information on how, when, and where to vote in the elections from official sources.

Be wary of any content that suggests fraud is taking place. Disinformation around the electoral process often spreads before and after elections, aiming to delegitimise elections through unfounded claims of voter fraud, foreign influences, and unfair practices. To find out more, read the EDMO report on Disinformation narratives during the 2023 elections in Europe 

TIP #5: faigh d’eolas faoi vótáil ó fhoinsí iontaofa

Lorg amach eolas iontaofa ó fhoinsí oifigiúil faoi chonas, cathain agus cén áit ar chor vótail sna toghcháin. Breathnaigh ar seo

Bí ag faire amach d’aon rud atá ag cur le fios go bhfuil calaois toghcháin ar siúl. Le linn an phróisis toghcháin, spreagtar bréagáisnéis roimh na toghcháin agus ina ndiaidh. An aidhm atá le seo ná tábhacht agus dlisteanacht na dtoghcháin a mhilleadh le ráflaí gan bhunús, maíomh faoi chalaois toghcháin, tionchair eachtrannacha agus cleachtais míchothroma. Léigh tuilleadh é anseo “Disinformation narratives during the 2023 elections in Europe”

TIP #4: Get your information from more than one source

If a piece of information is only being reported from one source or one media type, it might not be the whole story. Ask yourself who produced it, why, and how it has reached you? Different editorial rules apply across different types of media. In general, there are more checks and balances required for information that is broadcast or published in print, compared to some information online.

TIP #4: Lorg d’eolas ó níos mó ná foinse amháin

Má tá tuairisc nuachta craolta ó fhoinse amháin nó ar mheán amháin, b’fhéidir nach an scéal ar fad atá i gceist. Cur ceist ort féin – cé a scríobh é seo, cén fáth agus conas ar tháinig tú air? Bíonn rialacha eagarthóireachta diffriúla i gceist thar na meáin diffriúla. Go ginearálta, bíonn níos mó seiceanna ag teastáil d’eolas atá craolta nó foilsithe I gcomparáid le heolas atá ar an idirlíon.

TIP #3: Just becasue it’s viral doesn’t mean it’s true

Disinformation often provokes a strong emotional reaction and prompts sharing in a moment of outrage, excitement or disbelief – don’t believe something just because it’s going viral. Bots/fake accounts can exploit algorithms to amplify content online. Social media and messaging applications make it really easy to share information quickly to large groups of people. In addition, AI-powered technology can also be used to create fake profiles and promote false or inaccurate content, making it go viral with very little authentic sharing. 

TIP #3:Díreach toisc bhfuil sé mearscaipthe, ní hionann go bhfuil sé fíor

Go minic, musclaíonn bréagaisnéis freagairt agus mothúcháin láidire a spreagann daoine an t-eolas a roinnt i noiméad feirge. Ná creid rud éigin díreach toisc go bhfuil sé mearscaipthe. Is féidir le cuntaisí bréagacha nó ‘bots’ leas a bhaint as na halgartam chun ábhair a mhéadú nó a threisiú ar an idirlíon. Tá sé an-éasca eolas a roinnt le grúpa mór daoine ar na meáin soisialta nó ar na haipeanna teachtaireachtaí. Chomh maith le sin, le teicneolaíocht cumhachtaithe ag AI, is féidir cuntaisí bréagacha a chothú agus iad seo a usáid chun ábhair bréagach nó míchruinn a roinnt. Is é an fheidhm atá acu ná an dífháisnéis seo a bheith mearscaipthe, gan mórán roinnt iontaofa.

Tip #2 Look for the whole picture

It only takes a few clicks to change or enhance digital content in ways that create an entirely different meaning. If you see content featuring a public figure doing or saying something sensational, be aware that it might be distorted or fake. Always view content with a critical eye – especially if it triggers strong emotional reactions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies can create images or videos that look like real people but are completely fake. This includes “deepfake” videos. Audio-only deepfakes are especially hard to verify. EDMO has additional tips on how to identify AI generated content.

TIP #2: Lorg an scéal iomlán

Tá sé an-éasca ábhair a aistriú nó a threisiú go digiteach chun teachtaireachtaí nó scéal iomlán diffriúil a chur ar fáil.Má fheiceann tú fís nó má chloiseann tú taifeadadh do phearsa poiblí ag rá rud éigin dochreidte, bí ar an eolas go mb’fhéidir nach bhfuil sé fíor. #BeElectionSmart

Cuireann ceannlínte de shaghas ‘clicmhealladh’ daoine amú d’aon ghnó. Déantar é seo  chun mothucháin láidire a chothú i ndaoine chun gur mian leo na teachtaireachtaí seo a roinnt.

Tip #1 Read more than the headline

Life is complicated, and so is politics. Headlines are designed to catch your eye, but a headline can’t give the full story, and neither can a short social media post. If it sounds unbelievable, it probably is. So, read the whole story, not just the headline.

Headlines can be misleading without being completely false. Some headlines leave out information information that is only explained in the article. Other headlines are sensational. They grab your attention to generate clicks on the post, but the headline is not accurate. And some headlines really are untrue. They might even be accompanied by fake, AI-generated images. Don’t let media override your judgement: read more than the headline.

TIP #1: Léigh níos mó ná an ceannlíne

Tá an saol casta, agus tá polaitíocht casta chomh maith. Tá ceannlínte scríofa ar bhealach chun d’aird a tharraingt, ach ní thugann an ceannlíne an scéal ar fad agus ní féidir le teachtaireacht gairid ar na meáin soisialta é seo a dhéanamh ach an oiread. Má shíleann tú nach bhfuil sé fíor, tá seans ann go bhfuil an ceart agat. Dá bhrí sin, ná léigh an ceannlíne amháin – léigh an scéal ar fad.

Is féidir le teicneolaíocht AI físeanna ní íomhánna a chothú atá cuma orthu go bhfuil fíor daoine iontu, ach tá siad go hiomlán bréagach. Tá físeanna domhainbhrionnú nó ‘deepfake’ san áireamh anseo. Tá sé an-deacair deepfake le fuaim amháin a dheimhniú nó a chinntiú. Breathnaigh go cruinn ar íomhánna nó físeanna ar líne, ach go háirithe má mhusclaíonn siad mothúcháin láidire ionat.

Resources

A selection of resources from Ireland and colleagues across Europe to help you develop awareness of disinformation and the importance of good information hygiene.

  • Learn about Ireland’s Electoral System: People are often confused about the electoral system and bad actors spread false information about it. The Electoral Commission, an Coimisiún Toghcháin, has a learning hub that explains how Ireland’s democratic system and electoral events work.
  • TheJournal Knowledge Bank: TheJournal’s FactCheck team launched Knowledge Bank to host a toolkit with videos, tips, and guides on how to source reliable information and develop your skills in verifying images and online content. It also offers a background guide to key topics – climate crisis, society, migration, public health, conflict and elections – that tend to attract bad information. The site will be updated by the FactCheck team. Visit the Knowledge Bank.
  • Media Literacy Ireland: Ireland’s national association for media literacy hosts an range of resources including a searchable database of training resources, a ‘workshop in box’ for community leaders, and the latest news from the media literacy community in Ireland. Media Literacy Ireland will host specific events to promote Be Election Smart. Visit Media Literacy Ireland.
  • Treat Every Day Like April Fool’s Day: An Coimisiún Toghcháin, as Ireland’s independent electoral commission has created three 30-second social media videos warning people to treat every day like April Fool’s Day, and featuring people being shown headlines that may or may not be true. It has advised people to bring the same critical thinking that they use to dodge April Fool’s Day pranks today, to combatting false information about June’s upcoming elections. View the campaign here.
  • Be Media Smart: Be Media Smart is a national media literacy campaign facilitated by Media Literacy Ireland and promoted for international media literacy week in October. The website hosts accessible resources including ‘ask the expert’ Q&As, information about factchecking, and videos of previous webinars. The website is also available in Irish. Visit Be Media Smart.
  • Disinfo Bulletin: This daily newsletter from the EDMO Task Force on 2024 EU Elections delivers concise updates on urgent disinformation narratives surrounding the upcoming Elections for the European Parliament, including insights from fact-checking networks and community initiatives, directly to your inbox every weekday around noon, until election day. Subscribe to Disinfo Bulletin.
About the Campaign

EDMO and the EDMO Hubs are running an online campaign called Be Election Smart to promote media literacy ahead of the European Elections. This campaign will run for six weeks starting on Monday 29 April. For more information on the EU wide campaign, visit the main EDMO website and follow EDMO on Twitter.

EDMO Ireland is comprised of DCU FuJo, TheJournal, and NewsWhip. It will be working with our partner Media Literacy Ireland to promote the campaign and host events.