Fighting Disinformation That Endagers Lives During the Infodemic (Romania)

Category: Digital Activism

Community Members: Forum Apulum

Type of grant: Resist [ 950 € ]

Year: 2020

1. Who they are

The civic NGO Forum Apulum is made up of regular citizens turned into activists three years ago, in Alba Iulia, a small town in the middle of Romania. Struggling to make civic education human again, for the people and by the people, embracing various forms of expressing the need of civic engagement, especially for the younger generations, through arts, storytelling, activism and journalism, this grassroots NGO has managed to become in less than three years a relevant name in Romania.

2. What they did

”In a period when people need information more than ever, disinformation and misinformation are flourishing online. We are bombarded each day by fake news that influences our choices and actions. It has become more than a matter of critical thinking but now we have to fight them in real-time, as they appear because they can have direct and immediate effects on people’s health. 

Forum Apulum monitoring the fake news in Romania spreading over Facebook accounts, WhatsApp groups, and shady websites. Every week they found at least two-three new theories about the virus, the vaccine against it and homemade cures which are more likely to put lives in danger than to protect them. 

They started a two-month campaign to tackle the main fake news in the medical area, debunk them with the help of a medical specialist and promote them online and in groups through their network of volunteers. The arguments were shared in a graphically appealing way,  through a visual campaign on social media (Facebook pages, Stories, Instagram, Whatsapp  Groups) and promoted through paid ads.