Raising awareness of misinformation among children in Poland

The World Health Organization (WHO) is collaborating with Pravda Association, a non-profit fact-checking organization in Poland, to raise awareness about the harms of misinformation, especially among those most vulnerable.

In February 2021, with support from WHO, Pravda Association organized a drawing contest entitled “To look in the eyes of truth” among 9-14-year-old children in schools across Poland, asking them to reflect on false information spreading online.

Image credits: Adam Rychalski; Wiktoria Chalupka; Krzysztof Baszynski

“Raising awareness among children and teenagers about misinformation is fundamental in preventing them from being tricked by falsehoods online,” said Aleksandra Wrona, marketing and education director of Pravda Association. “What we want to see in the future is a society resistant to misinformation.”

Recognizing misinformation online and learning how to protect yourself from it isn’t normally part of school curriculums. That’s why both organizations were elated by the large number of schools and students from all over the country who took part in the contest.

“We received more than 400 pieces of art,” said Jakub Śliż, president of Pravda Association. “Many of the drawings were incredibly creative, and we are proud of the work done by the children. The full exhibition is available at Pravda Association’s website.”

Image credit: Zofia Debicka

The artworks covered a broad spectrum of topics, including social media, misinformation and infodemics more broadly. However, many were COVID-19 related and showed that children are aware of the harmful health misinformation circulating online.

“Working with grassroots organizations like Pravda Association is crucial for WHO to reach people with essential information to help them make better and healthier decisions online,” said Andy Pattison, manager of the Digital Channels team at WHO. “What we have seen through our work is that highly personalized content in formats and languages people prefer work best to raise awareness, improve engagement and ultimately change behaviours.”

See the full art exhibition here.

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