Skip to content Skip to footer
Subproject #2

Critical Digital Literacy

The promotion of digital literacy combined with critical thinking (SubProject#2) is arguably the most efficient way to tackle “fake news” and disinformation online. It has been proven to work in Finland, where five years after introducing such programs, the country has declared victory in the fight against “fake news”. Inspired by Finland’s example, this sub-project aims at promoting critical digital literacy in Qatar. We plan to achieve this through a general media literacy platform that would teach citizens and residents of Qatar how to recognize “fake news” and propaganda techniques. The platform will have lessons and exploration capabilities. It will feature tools to analyze news, social media posts, or any custom text in Arabic and English, and it would make explicit the propaganda/persuasion techniques of the discussed issues.

The tool will look for persuasion techniques such as appeal to emotions (e.g., fear, prejudices, smears, etc.) as well as logical fallacies (e.g., black & white fallacies, bandwagon, etc.). By interacting with the platform, users will become aware of the ways they can be manipulated by “fake news”, and thus they would be less likely to act based on it and also less likely to share it further, which is critical for limiting the potential impact of organized disinformation campaigns online. We will further study the role of critical digital literacy on people’s resilience to online manipulation and influence, whether legitimate, e.g., in e-commerce, or malicious, e.g., in social engineering and phishing. This literacy will also cover understanding the influence of the algorithms and the designs used in digital media, i.e., we will go beyond the literacy of how to recognize threats and how to respond to them to understand the underlying mechanics of influence and deception online.

It can be a valid argument, typically made by social media companies, that people shall be primarily responsible for managing their traits, weaknesses, worries, stress, and jealousy, whether in physical or online worlds. Generally, self-regulation is expected from users of social media. However, we argue that social media design can become too immersive and, at times, addictive. Hence, we argue that social media shall reduce triggers leading to a loss of control over their usage. Digital addiction is associated with reduced productivity and distracting sleep. Fear of missing out (FoMO) is one manifestation of how users become overly preoccupied with online spaces. We have argued that a thoughtful design process shall equip users with tools to manage it, e.g. creative versions of auto-reply, coloring schemes, and filters. Such a design can benefit those who are highly susceptible to peer pressure and possess low impulse control.

Objectives

  1. To build a high-quality corpus annotated with propaganda and its techniques.

  2. To develop a system for detecting the use of propaganda and its techniques in text in Arabic and English with a focus on Qatar and social media.

  3. To develop an online platform for teaching critical digital literacy and then use the platform to study the role of critical digital literacy on people’s resilience to online manipulation and influence.

Meet Critical Digital Literacy Team members...

FIROJ ALAM

Lead Principal Investigator:
Critical Digital Literacy

WAJDI ZAGHOUANI

Principal Investigator

GEORGE MIKROS

Principal Investigator

GIOVANNI DA SAN MARTINO

Principal Investigator

MARAM HASANAIN

Postdoctoral Researcher

FATEMA AHMAD

Reaserach Assistant

ELISA SARTORI

Research Assistant
University of Padova

MUAADH NOMAN

PhD Researcher

Publications

1.

Gurgun, Selin; Cemiloglu, Deniz; Close, Emily Arden; Phalp, Keith; Nakov, Preslav; Ali, Raian

Why do we not stand up to misinformation? Factors influencing the likelihood of challenging misinformation on social media and the role of demographics Journal Article

In: Technology in Society, vol. 76, pp. 102444, 2024.

BibTeX

2.

Gurgun, Selin; Noman, Muaadh; Arden-Close, Emily; Phalp, Keith; Ali, Raian

How Would I Be Perceived If I Challenge Individuals Sharing Misinformation? Exploring Misperceptions in the UK and Arab Samples and the Potential for the Social Norms Approach Proceedings Article

In: International Conference on Persuasive Technology, pp. 133–150, Springer 2024.

BibTeX

3.

Hasanain, Maram; Ahmed, Fatema; Alam, Firoj

Can GPT-4 Identify Propaganda? Annotation and Detection of Propaganda Spans in News Articles Journal Article

In: arXiv preprint arXiv:2402.17478, 2024.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

4.

Hasanain, Maram; El-Shangiti, Ahmed; Nandi, Rabindra Nath; Nakov, Preslav; Alam, Firoj

QCRI at SemEval-2023 Task 3: News Genre, Framing and Persuasion Techniques Detection Using Multilingual Models Proceedings Article

In: Proceedings of the 17th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2023), pp. 1237–1244, Association for Computational Linguistics, Toronto, Canada, 2023.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

5.

Galassi, Andrea; Ruggeri, Federico; Barrón-Cedeño, Alberto; Alam, Firoj; Caselli, Tommaso; Kutlu, Mucahid; Struss, Julia Maria; Antici, Francesco; Hasanain, Maram; Köhler, Juliane; Korre, Katerina; Leistra, Folkert; Muti, Arianna; Siegel, Melanie; Deniz, Turkmen. Mehmet; Wiegand, Michael; Zaghouani, Wajdi

Overview of the CLEF-2023 CheckThat! Lab Task 2 on Subjectivity in News Articles Proceedings Article

In: Aliannejadi, Mohammad; Faggioli, Guglielmo; Ferro, Nicola; Vlachos,; Michalis, (Ed.): Working Notes of CLEF 2023–Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2023.

BibTeX

6.

Martino, Giovanni Da San; Alam, Firoj; Hasanain, Maram; Nandi, Rabindra Nath; Azizov, Dilshod; Nakov, Preslav

Overview of the CLEF-2023 CheckThat! Lab Task 3 on Political Bias of News Articles and News Media Proceedings Article

In: Aliannejadi, Mohammad; Faggioli, Guglielmo; Ferro, Nicola; Vlachos,; Michalis, (Ed.): Working Notes of CLEF 2023–Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2023.

BibTeX

7.

Nakov, Preslav; Alam, Firoj; Martino, Giovanni Da San; Hasanain, Maram; Nandi, Rabindra Nath; Azizov, Dilshod; Panayotov, Panayot

Overview of the CLEF-2023 CheckThat! Lab Task 4 on Factuality of Reporting of News Media Proceedings Article

In: Aliannejadi, Mohammad; Faggioli, Guglielmo; Ferro, Nicola; Vlachos,; Michalis, (Ed.): Working Notes of CLEF 2023–Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2023.

BibTeX

8.

Alam, Firoj; Barrón-Cedeño, Alberto; Cheema, Gullal S.; Hakimov, Sherzod; Hasanain, Maram; Li, Chengkai; M’ıguez, Rubén; Mubarak, Hamdy; Shahi, Gautam Kishore; Zaghouani, Wajdi; Nakov, Preslav

Overview of the CLEF-2023 CheckThat! Lab Task 1 on Check-Worthiness in Multimodal and Multigenre Content Proceedings Article

In: Aliannejadi, Mohammad; Faggioli, Guglielmo; Ferro, Nicola; Vlachos,; Michalis, (Ed.): Working Notes of CLEF 2023–Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2023.

BibTeX

9.

Noman, Muaadh; Gurgun, Selin; Phalp, Keith; Nakov, Preslav; Ali, Raian

Challenging others when posting misinformation: a UK vs. Arab cross-cultural comparison on the perception of negative consequences and injunctive norms Journal Article

In: Behaviour & Information Technology, pp. 1–21, 2023.

BibTeX

10.

Hasanain, Maram; Ahmed, Fatema; Alam, Firoj

Large Language Models for Propaganda Span Annotation Journal Article

In: arXiv preprint arXiv:2311.09812, 2023.

Links | BibTeX

The Future of Digital Citizenship in Qatar: a Socio-Technical Framework

Partners

Copyright © Digital Citizenship in Qatar. All Right Reserved

Research Sponsored by Qatar National Research Fund, NPRP14C-0916-210015