Open Call: Getting a Grip on Disinformation

SIDN Fund is inviting proposals for projects involving the development of tools and instruments for getting a grip on disinformation (deliberately misleading information distributed with a view to manipulating public opinion). The deadline for the submission of proposals is 13:00 (CEST) on 3 May, 2021.

Disinformation: much remains unclear
The coronavirus doesn't exist, 9/11 never happened, and Bill Gates wants to control all of us through a 5G cell tower. Disinformation, and especially its online scalability, may pose a threat to our open, democratic society. Disinformation in itself is not a new phenomenon; what is new is the speed and scale of its dissemination via social media, online platforms and synthetic media. It’s a development to which we -as a society- haven’t found a good answer yet.

The call
The urgency to better arm our society against the impact of disinformation is widely recognized. The US elections and the Brexit referendum, among others, showed that disinformation is spreading on a large scale. And although the problems in the Netherlands seem still limited, here too the breeding ground and a technological ecosystem for the spread of disinformation are present.

At the same time, much is still unclear. And what is known tends to be based largely on US research. Further study and new tools are therefore needed to improve understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the disinformation phenomenon in the Dutch context, the impact of disinformation and ways of making society more resilient to its effects.

Call for tools and instruments
It's important that we get a better grip on disinformation. We are therefore calling for proposals involving the development of tools and instruments that can help in that regard – by, for example, shedding light on questions such as:

  • How does the technology that amplifies opinions on platforms work?
  • Who is engaged in the production, dissemination and amplification of disinformation?
  • How do the algorithms used by the various platforms work, and who controls them
  • What motivates certain groups of people to disseminate disinformation and how do they go about it?
  • What tools can internet users and journalists employ to improve their grip on the disinformation phenomenon?

SIDN Fund is seeking proposals relating to the development of new tools, but will also consider proposals for initiatives to increase the reach of existing tools.

SIDN Fund will consider applications for grants of up to 50,000 euros per project. The deadline for the submission of proposals is 13:00 (CEST) on 3 May, 2021.

Visit the SIDN fund website for more information