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Publication of the article Education on malicious deepfakes and developing agency in digital environments in Éducation et francophonie

February 12, 2022


Online disinformation is not on the decline. The term infocalypse was actually coined by Schick (2020) to describe the seriousness of disinformation in the form of malicious deepfakes, which obscure what was previously considered authentic. This reflective article explores the complexity of the deepfake phenomenon to emphasize the urgent need for research that directly addresses educators and decision-makers. Under the lens of citizenship education, we argue that teachers, parents and educational actors must support students in developing critical thinking, agency in the digital environment and the ability to recognize deepfakes so that they can protect themselves and counteract this phenomenon. To answer the question “Why educate young people on malicious deepfakes?” we started by exploring this phenomenon and its dangers in the context of disinformation. First, this article exposes how deepfakes destabilize the perceptual foundations of human knowledge and discusses their threat to our societies. Secondly, it presents avenues considered and draws attention to the urgency of alerting young people to these dangers and involving them in counteracting this form of disinformation. Lastly, the article offers avenues for research in digital citizenship.


Nadia NAFFI Université Laval, Quebec, Canada

Ann-Louise DAVIDSON Concordia University, Quebec, Canada

Sylvie BARMA Université Laval, Quebec, Canada

Marie-Claude BERNARD Université Laval, Quebec, Canada

Nicolas BRAULT Université Laval, Quebec, Canada

François BERGER Université Laval, Quebec, Canada

Aude GAGNON-TREMBLAY Université Laval, Quebec, Canada