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Mapping Civil Society Responses to Disinformation: An International Forum Working Paper

by National Endowment for Democracy; International Forum fpr Democratic Studies; Samantha Bradshaw; Lisa-Maria Neudert

Published | January 2021

Tackling mis- and disinformation


"Mapping Civil Society Responses to Disinformation" explores how civil society organisations can address the impact of disinformation on democracy.

Why read

The paper enables CSOs to get an understanding of how disinformation affects civil society and to combat new challenges of digital transformation.


This paper draws on two methods – a mapping exercise of civil society initiatives and a survey of leading CSOs working in this field. This approach reveals that CSOs bring a wide range of skill sets to the problem of digital disinformation. Some organizations focus on digital media literacy and education; others engage in advocacy and policy work. Another segment has developed expertise in fact-checking and verification. Other organizations have developed refined technical skills for extracting and analysing data from social media platforms.

CSOs play a central role in addressing disinformation’s growing impact on democracy. In the context of new challenges through social media, civil society faces disinformation that can be combatted with this paper. It helps CSOs to find understanding and response to the digital transformation challenge.

The paper suggests several recommendations, such as prioritising skill diffusion and knowledge transfer or more flexible funding and more diverse research in CSOs.


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