June 1 – 4 , 2020, Dagstuhl Seminar 20232

RESCHEDULED Digital Disinformation: Taxonomy, Impact, Mitigation, and Regulation

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this seminar was rescheduled to October 3 – 6 , 2021Seminar 21402.


Claude Kirchner (INRIA – Le Chesnay, FR)
Ninja Marnau (CISPA – Saarbrücken, DE)
Franziska Roesner (University of Washington – Seattle, US)

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The phenomenon of intentionally false, misleading information is as old as human communication. The ubiquitous digital disinformation and targeted disinformation campaigns that we are globally experiencing is however new. Scientific and technological progresses together with today’s worldwide technical platforms enable and support the creation and spread of disinformation at a vastly increased speed and scale. Researchers have observed attempted disinformation campaigns from political parties, private actors, and foreign states in all of the recent elections, including the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum in 2016. New phenomena such as deep fakes could further erode trust in public information while micro-targeting undermines the concepts of a shared reality and digital public sphere.

Technological and self-regulatory mitigation approaches by the platforms have so far proved insufficient to address the problem. Meanwhile, national policy makers have initiated regulatory responses to the phenomenon including prohibition of unverified accounts, automated agents on social platforms, transparency requirements for targeted political ads, or even criminalization of disinformation and measures to restrict nationwide access to social platforms. All of these regulations may have detrimental effects on the freedom of speech, access to information, online privacy, and psychological chilling effects on user behaviour and users’ trust in information sources.

This Dagstuhl Seminar brings together researchers and practitioners from several scientific disciplines who are currently observing, analysing, and trying to mitigate the phenomenon from different angles: Informatics, psychology and cognitive science, social and communication science, political science, journalism, ethics, and law. This research expertise should be combined to better understand and holistically address the complex global phenomenon of digital disinformation. By bringing together researchers and practitioners from multiple disciplines and various countries, will allow us to share and discuss multidisciplinary approaches, methods, scientific results, and experiences from varying national and cultural contexts.

The intimacy of the Dagstuhl venue is perfect for constructive communication and interdisciplinary exchange. We plan to work on a common taxonomy and share data and results to identify the most pressing research questions, propose new developments, and initiate interdisciplinary follow-up projects. The multidisciplinary exchange will also enable us to assess different proposed technological, regulatory and social responses to disinformation with regard to their benefits and shortcomings. These discussions shall foster future interdisciplinary works and publications on new mitigation concepts, user education, or policy briefs targeted at policy makers and social platforms.

Motivation text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Claude Kirchner, Ninja Marnau, and Franziska Roesner

Related Dagstuhl Seminar


  • Artificial Intelligence / Robotics
  • Society / Human-computer Interaction
  • World Wide Web / Internet


  • Disinformation
  • Fake news
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Trust in media
  • Geopolitics


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