Aller au contenu principal

Empowering Youth to Combat Malicious Deepfakes and Disinformation: An Experiential and Reflective Learning Experience Informed by Personal Construct Theory

December 20, 2023

The potential to weaponize deepfakes is growing at an alarming rate. The study aimed to explore how education can help youth develop resilience to malicious deepfakes and the ability to counter disinformation, regardless of context. Sixteen youth between the ages of 18 and 24 participated in a 9-h, cutting-edge, experiential, and reflective learning experience on deepfakes and disinformation informed by personal construct theory (PCT). Participants experienced the creation of deepfakes and assessed their ability to counter disinformation. They delved into their own construct systems and reflected on the genesis of their vulnerabilities. They moved from being unfamiliar with the deepfake phenomenon to becoming empowered digital citizens, motivated to develop their skills in assessing the validity of online information and resisting manipulation regardless of its source. The study provides recommendations for more targeted education about deepfakes and disinformation for youth. Educators, curriculum developers, and policymakers can use these findings to ensure that a well-equipped generation of digital citizens protects society from the growing disinformation plague. With this proof of concept, the next step is to bring this approach to a larger number of youth and contribute to the fight against malicious deepfakes, while developing strategies to integrate PCT-informed learning experiences into education.