50 young people will develop digital tools to prevent and combat disinformation during the "Nistru TruthBridge" Hackathon

January 26, 2024

50 young people from both banks of the Nistru River are participating in the "Nistru TruthBridge" Hackathon during the period of 26-27 January. IT and communication enthusiasts will develop digital tools to prevent and combat disinformation and hate speech. The event is organised by Transparency International-Moldova in the framework of the joint project "Building sustainable and inclusive peace, strengthening trust and social cohesion in Moldova", financed by the UN Peacebuilding Fund, implemented by OHCHR, UNDP and UN Women.

"I’m excited that this event has brought together people from different walks of life and the two banks of the Nistru River and created space for them to explore ways in which technology can help us to make a better sense from various flows of, sometime contradictory, information. Evidence-based fact checking is the cornerstone of objective, quality media content generation and reporting. I trust solutions put forward by the teams will have a potential to help us all to better navigate content generated on-line and contribute to the promotion of tolerance, pluralism and cohesion within and among communities," said Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

At the "Nistru TruthBridge" Hackathon, young people will work, test and experiment, transforming their concepts of innovative solutions into functional prototypes, assisted by mentors from the Republic of Moldova, Romania and Georgia, professionals in the field of online data visualization, media experts and analysts in the field of preventing and combating disinformation, specialists in IT and application development, etc.

"The spread of mis and dis-information has in recent years grown at unparalleled speed across the world, often contributing to the spread of hate speech, causing social harm and divisions, and potentially undermining good governance, the rule of law, and peace and stability. The UN is committed to tackling this negative phenomenon while protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms," concluded Kristine Jenssen, Peace and Development Advisor, UN Resident Coordinator Office in Moldova. 

The 3 most innovative prototypes will be financially supported to be put into practice. Grants worth about US$5,500 each will be awarded to the winning teams. These grants will be disbursed in two instalments: half - at the beginning of the project, the other half - after the development of the solution.

"We have witnessed how misinformation contributes to the increase of social tensions and the amplification of divisions within society. The citizens of the Republic of Moldova have felt firsthand how the manipulation of information fuels conflicts between ethnic, religious, or social groups, leading to the fragmentation of communities. This is our role in this event, to unite our efforts: journalists, media experts, civic activists, IT experts – to generate viable digital solutions that will help the public prevent and combat misinformation, aiming to 'disinfect' the information space in the Republic of Moldova," mentioned Lilia Zaharia-Cravcenco, Executive Director of Transparency International-Moldova.

The winning teams will be consulted and guided by Transparency International-Moldova and UNDP. Both social media users and journalists, fact-checking networks, etc. will benefit from the final projects.

Download the press-release in Russian.