Countering Disinformation


  • Keywords:
  • Countering Disinformation
  • Media Literacy
  • Digital Security
  • Disinformation
  • Fact-checking
  • Resilience
  • Open Data
  • Digital Activism
  • False narratives
  • OSINT (open-source intelligence)
  • Organizational resilience
  • Languages:
  • English
  • English
Disinformation can spread like fire in today's digital age. To mitigate the threat, the TechSoup Guide on Digital Tools for Countering Disinformation equips activists and CSOs with a range of digital tools to identify, analyze, and counter disinformation effectively.The rapid spread of disinformation threatens societies worldwide. This free-of-charge guide is tailored for activists and CSOs, providing practical knowledge and tools, to navigate and combat digital falsehoods. Whether you're a novice or an expert in countering disinformation, the guide offers valuable insights and step-by-step instructions for everyone.Why is it worth using the Guide on Digital Tools for Countering Disinformation?Head to the guide to get:Comprehensive Tool Overview: Detailed descriptions of tools across various categories, such as social media monitoring, image and video analysis, or cybersecurity.Practical Usage Examples: Real-world scenarios demonstrating how to leverage these tools effectively.User-Friendly Guidance: Step-by-step instructions to ensure tools are accessible to all skill levels.Expert Recommendations: Curated selection based on relevance, effectiveness, and practicality, prepared by TechSoup Experts and Partners.✅🔗 See it for yourself! Dive into the guide and arm yourself with knowledge to promote and protect truth, and accuracy in the digital information space! Download the Guide here!
  • Keywords:
  • Countering Disinformation
  • Disinformation
  • Fact-checking
  • Resilience
  • Personal and Organisational Resilience
  • Digital Activism
  • OSINT (open-source intelligence)
  • Languages:
  • English
  • polski
  • English
Critical Thinking Methods and Tools for Distinguishing Facts from Fakes and DisinformationThis publication offers practical tools for recognizing disinformation and methods for practicing critical thinking. It provides guidance on identifying disinformation online and defending against it, while also enhancing skills in critically understanding content.The publication features insights from fact checkers and digital trolls.It is divided into four parts. The first part outlines six basic rules for verifying information to avoid falling into the trap of false content. The second part includes exercises to develop vigilance and critical thinking habits. The third part provides step-by-step instructions for spotting fake images and videos. The final part is a collection of websites, tools, and applications that assist in this work.
  • Keywords:
  • Countering Disinformation
  • Disinformation
  • Resilience
  • Elections
  • Languages:


Zero evidence video shows boxes of ‘hidden’, ‘uncounted’ votes cast in South Africa’s 2024 elections

A video has been posted on social media with the claim it shows sealed and hidden ballot boxes full of uncounted votes from South Africa’s May 2024 elections. But according to the country’s electoral commission, the video shows resealed ballot boxes that have been stored at the commission’s warehouse.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 3 min read | Jun 21, 2024

YOU ASKED: Has South Africa’s public works programme created 14 million jobs in 20 years?

With unemployment in South Africa at 32.1%, most political parties have been keen to talk up their ability to create jobs ahead of the May 2024 elections. But do the ruling ANC’s triumphant claims about a flagship programme stand up to scrutiny?

Duduzile | 3 min read | Jun 21, 2024

Online Electoral Deceptive Tactics

South African citizens are anxious, excited, and uncertain about the outcome of the upcoming May 29 elections which mark thirty years of democracy. There is undisputable consensus among the citizens that this election will mark a critical turning point in South Africa's democratic and political history. However, the anxiety and uncertainty within the political and electoral landscape have become a breeding ground for propaganda and disinformation. Propaganda and disinformation are seen to be posing dangers to SA’s democratic process. Both polarise communities, mislead voters, and erode trust in public institutions, responsible for election administration. To confirm these dangers, a recent UNESCO study notes that: "In today's rapidly evolving digital environment, opportunities for communication between citizens, politicians, and political parties are unprecedented –– with information related to elections flowing faster and easier than ever, […]with billions of human beings connected, ‘propaganda’ and disinformation circulating unhinged around the networks, democratic processes and access to reliable information are at risk.”[1] This risk is what South Africa is experiencing in its 2024 elections. Considering this, there is a need to shield democracy in the republic by countering propaganda and disinformation. The article's purpose is to discuss recent trends of propaganda and disinformation in South Africa's 2024 elections. The paper will also suggest possible measures to mitigate their impact.

Duduzile | 7 min read | May 30, 2024

#ManifestoCheck: Verifying 9 claims from the Democratic Alliance’s ‘Rescue Plan for South Africa’

Did South Africa’s main opposition party get its facts right when it outlined how it would tackle several problem areas if it were voted into power?

Duduzile | 15 min read | Apr 30, 2024

Promises kept and broken in the African National Congress’ election manifestos: 2019 vs 2024

South Africa’s ruling party made several commitments in its 2019 manifesto. How many were kept and how many made it back to the 2024 version?

Duduzile | 16 min read | Apr 30, 2024

Paid influencers and sockpuppets drove social media campaign targeting South African banks

In April 2021, a coordinated campaign targeting two South African banks surfaced on Twitter. While superficially taking aim at systemic racism in South Africa’s banking sector, beneath the #RacistBanksMustFall hashtag’s altruistic veneer were the vested interests of Sekunjalo Independent Media, owners of South Africa’s third largest news organization.

DFRLab | 9 min read | Apr 24, 2024

Beyond the ballot: Key takeaways from the Electoral Integrity Dialogue

The Electoral Integrity Dialogue explores the significant role of electoral integrity in South Africa and the various measures to guarantee a fair, just, and transparent electoral process. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) plays a crucial role in ensuring electoral integrity and preventing any fraudulent activities, manipulations, coercion, or other irregularities that could potentially undermine the legitimacy of the election results. Izak Minnaar highlighted that the IEC is an independent body with the responsibility of ensuring that the electoral process is conducted in a transparent and impartial manner. This includes overseeing the voter registration process, the voting process, and the announcement of election results, among other things.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 4 min read | Apr 11, 2024

Government official monetized racial tensions on South African social media

Twitter account linked to a member of South Africa’s third largest political party baited racial tensions to monetize traffic to his website

DFRLab | 11 min read | Mar 28, 2024

#10YearsOfFacts: Ten lessons we’ve learned fact-checking elections in African countries

Africa Check’s editors in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa look back on a decade-long effort to improve voters’ decisions.

Duduzile | 10 min read | Feb 29, 2024

Electoral Integrity Dialogue – Online Event

Ensuring election integrity is crucial for a thriving democracy. Let's discuss ways to strengthen our local electoral system.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 1 min read | Feb 28, 2024

How we’re using artificial intelligence to scale up global fact-checking

With much of the world adapting to a new normal, it is more important than ever that the public is aware of the dangers of false or misleading information on the coronavirus pandemic.

Duduzile | 10 min read | Dec 30, 2023

We need science journalists not press release cheerleaders

There are few topics that people know not to mention in my presence. Telling me that science communication and science journalism are the same thing is one of them.

Duduzile | 5 min read | Dec 30, 2023

Getting fact-checkers' methods into the curriculum: the six Cs of misinformation literacy

A new study argues for an expanded definition of media literacy.

Duduzile | 6 min read | Dec 30, 2023

As South Africa battles floods, is the president right about the country being on course with its climate change targets? It depends, experts say

Cyril Ramaphosa has been sounding the drums about the adverse effects of climate change. We took a closer look at a key claim he made.

Duduzile | 7 min read | Dec 30, 2023

Fact diplomacy: Telling friends and family they’re wrong without ruining the party

As our experience in Kenya shows, Africa Check’s Fact Ambassador programme has boosted our multi-tentacular approach to fighting false information online and offline.

Duduzile | 4 min read | Dec 30, 2023

The good, the bad and the ugly: we rate South African government websites

South Africans have the right to access government information, so it’s important that agency and department websites work well. Africa Check’s researchers review these sites – from the excellent (looking at you, Stats SA) to the poorly organised and the downright ugly.

Duduzile | 9 min read | Dec 30, 2023

A cloudy outlook? What we are learning about election disinformation in Africa and what you can do about it

As nearly a dozen countries in the region prepare to hold presidential elections, the spread of disinformation is inflaming the continent's political landscape. Will facts prevail and calm the situation?

Duduzile | 7 min read | Dec 30, 2023

A cloudy outlook? What we are learning about election disinformation in Africa and what you can do about it

As nearly a dozen countries in the region prepare to hold presidential elections, the spread of disinformation is inflaming the continent's political landscape. Will facts prevail and calm the situation?

Hive Mind | 7 min read | Dec 30, 2023

ANALYSIS: Is HIV/Aids misinformation and denialism on the rise again? How to counter persistent myths

Well-worn untruths about HIV/Aids took a backseat during the Covid-19 pandemic. But vigilance against Aids denialism is important, particularly in Africa where access to accurate information and inclusive healthcare is still patchy.

Hive Mind | 9 min read | Dec 30, 2023

AI-powered disinformation: deepfakes, detection technology and the weaponisation of doubt

Despite the hype around artificial intelligence, the bigger threat in Africa remains “cheap fakes” and other low-effort forms of information deception.

Duduzile | 7 min read | Dec 30, 2023

Hardened by the Truth: Fact Checkers and the Realities of Resilience

We are faced with many challenges that require organisations to be resilient, characterized by an overwhelming amount of information on various digital platforms, fact-checking organisations have emerged as vital entities in ensuring the accuracy, credibility, and reliability of the information. These organisations help to verify the authenticity of news and information, preventing the spread of false data and disinformation. Fact-checking organisations employ various techniques, including investigative journalism, data analysis, and expert opinions, to scrutinize claims and verify facts. Through their efforts, they help to foster trust between the public and the media while upholding the values of truth and transparency. These organisations play a pivotal role in scrutinizing and debunking false claims, thereby contributing to the preservation of reliable information. While they have demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of numerous challenges, the digital landscape presents a dynamic and evolving battlefield for fact-checkers. This blog explores the challenges faced by fact-checking organisations and the strategies they employ to maintain their resilience in the relentless fight against disinformation.

Duduzile | 6 min read | Dec 30, 2023

It is our Collective Responsibility to Fight Against Disinformation

The 2023 media freedom festival organized by Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) was dominated by how we can collectively fight against the proliferation of disinformation.

Duduzile | 7 min read | Nov 29, 2023

Running a compelling online campaign through digital storytelling

The internet has become a powerful tool for social advocacy. Campaigners are increasingly relying on Digital Storytelling (DST) to get their message across and garner support for their cause. The power shift from powerful institutions into the hands of grassroots communities has given activists a larger platform to organise engagements and build momentum for movements. However, it is important to note that online media consumers exist in the era of what has been duped by the attention economy and information overload. Your campaign runs the risk of getting lost in the plethora of available digital content, if you do not portray a compelling story.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 6 min read | Oct 31, 2023

Disinformation in the South African Elections Soup

As we draw nearer to the end of 2023, South Africans, with both glee and uncertainty, are gearing up for the national and provincial elections scheduled for May/Jun 2024. This will be the seventh democratic general election held democratically in South Africa since 1994, with many pronouncing that these upcoming elections are to be a watershed moment. Similar to the previous six democratically held elections in South Africa since 1994, the 2024 general elections also come with their own set of challenges that have the potential to undermine the credibility of the elections. To mitigate these challenges, we shall first define and explore them and their nature, look at how they could possibly undermine elections and infringe on human rights, and then contemplate adequate, effective responses to these challenges to ensure the credibility and integrity of our elections.

Azola | 7 min read | Oct 31, 2023

Panel Discussion: Countering Disinformation Masterclass

The panel discussion explored how disinformation can influence elections and democratic processes, evaluate propaganda and fake news, how communities can strengthen digital resilience in response to future trends, how to strike a balance between freedom of expression and disinformation, and various strategies that can be employed in South Africa to rebuild trust in media and institutions. It showcased various countries where disinformation campaigns aimed to manipulate voter perceptions and sway election outcomes. Participants gained valuable insights from subject matter experts Azola Dayile and Tshepiso Hadebe into effective countermeasures employed by activists, journalists, and electoral bodies. The COVID-19 pandemic has witnessed an infodemic and a proliferation of misinformation and disinformation. Participants learned how scientific experts, health organisations, and fact-checkers have debunked falsehoods, ensuring accurate information reaches the public.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 3 min read | Sep 27, 2023

Countering Disinformation Masterclass Webinar

The purpose of this community-building event was to provide and promote truth, and accuracy in information dissemination to form a collaborative network, equip the community with tools, and knowledge to combat disinformation, and share best practices to enable participants to learn from the subject matter experts to maintain informed citizenry.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 3 min read | Sep 22, 2023

Developing Digital Discernment and Media Literacy from a Young Age

When navigating through today’s heavily saturated media landscape it is crucial to have the discerning ability to differentiate between fact and fiction. Media literacy empowers people to be critical thinkers and creators, effective communicators, and active citizens. Media literacy starts with education and the sooner we equip ourselves and our children with the critical thinking skills needed to be discerning in their consumption of media instead of passive, the better. But where does one begin? Whether you’re an educator, a parent or simply wanting to gain a deeper understanding of the concept of media literacy and what it entails there are several online resources available to help with the learning journey.

Eva | 8 min read | Sep 19, 2023

Countering Disinformation Masterclass Webinar

Disinformation spreads rapidly and effortlessly, and the rise of disinformation has become an alarming global phenomenon. Misleading narratives, fake news, and conspiracy theories have the power to manipulate public opinion, polarize societies, and undermine democratic processes. To combat this growing threat, Phambano Technology Development Centre NPC, DFRLab, and TechSoup Global Network have come together to organize Countering Disinformation Masterclass webinar to empower individuals with the tools to recognize, debunk, and counter disinformation.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 2 min read | Jul 21, 2023

Local actions to overcome poor governance: Discovering obstacles and benefits of local actions

ln recent years, there has been a growing recognition that poor governance can have profound and negative impacts on local communities. When governments fail to provide basic services, ensure social justice, or protect the environment, it can lead to frustration, anger, and even social unrest. However, civil society organisations have stepped up to fill the gap left by ineffective or corrupt governments, taking local actions to improve the lives of people in their communities.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 7 min read | Jul 18, 2023

Decoding The Digital Realm: empowerment through media literacy

The globe is constantly spinning with information right at our fingertips. However, interpreting that information can be a lot more complicated than it seems.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 7 min read | Jun 6, 2023

Fake News Won’t Last: countering the damage of LGBTQI+ disinformation

Disinformation and online manipulation is a widespread issue, targeting a number of minority groups based on gender, sexual expression, race, age, and more. In light of the rise in politically driven attacks on the rights of LGBTQI+ persons, it's critical to counter disinformation in order for them to receive treatment for physical and mental health, sex reassignment procedures, and have safer spaces in schools and communities.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 8 min read | Jun 6, 2023

The war on privacy: how to fight back with digital safety

The internet has taken the globe by storm for the past 30 years, and it’s almost impossible to imagine the world without it. Digital privacy can be at risk without the proper online precautions in place.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 6 min read | May 17, 2023

Climate lies and dirty tactics: The damage of online disinformation campaigns

As the world grapples with the increasingly pressing need to address climate change and environmental issues, online disinformation campaigns have emerged as a powerful tool in the manipulation of public perspective, inspiring scepticism, and spreading false information.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 7 min read | May 17, 2023

Mental Resilience In The Pursuit Of Social Change

How do CSOs remain strong while fighting for equality and justice? What is the importance of mental resistance to civil society? Learn from resilient leaders and cultivate a growth mindset. Throughout history, there have been many world leaders who were once civic society activists and demonstrated exceptional mental resilience in the face of adversity.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 6 min read | Apr 26, 2023

Hive Mind Launch in South Africa:Countering Disinformation in the Civic Space

The Hive Mind launch in South Africa was a success. We are thankful to all our speakers who gave incredible presentations and supported the need for Hive Mind to help civil society and build digital resilience.

Sibongile Ndlovu | 4 min read | Apr 14, 2023

A country free from the grip of Xenophobia

South Africa a nation that suffered through discrimination and segregation, even after years of freedom, has become a place where foreign nationals feel unsafe and discriminated against. The continuous rise of xenophobic attacks in the country have resulted in the loss of lives, homes and businesses.

Hive Mind | 7 min read | Mar 29, 2023

“Show Me The Tembisa 10”

How eye witnessing and capturing the spur of the moment prevents disinformation

Hive Mind | 8 min read | Mar 23, 2023

What are Echo Chambers and how to escape from one :-)

Information can come from various sources. Most often than not, you would pick up your smartphone or open your laptop and start scrolling through content; clicking on and sharing whatever looks interesting. However, it is good to know what is going on behind the scenes…

Hive Mind | 2 min read | Apr 4, 2022

Women, Violence and Disinformation

Social media platforms allow users to interact in a faster and easier manner. On one hand, this phenomenon helps establishing relationships and bonds beyond physical boundaries, leading to the exchange of information and content of all kinds. It is also not a secret that these platforms offer users tools for commercializing goods, products and services.

CIVIX Colombia | 4 min read | Jan 3, 2022