The best digital concepts for preventing and combating disinformation and hate speech have been designated

January 28, 2024

Three out of the 11 teams participating in the “Nistru TruthBridge” hackathon got financial support worth US$5500 each and mentorship to develop their prototypes. The winning teams developed and presented the concepts of three projects with digital solutions for preventing and combating disinformation and hate speech, as well as promoting verified and credible content online. The hackathon was organized by Transparency International-Moldova with the support of the project “Building sustainable and inclusive peace, strengthening trust and social cohesion in Moldova”, funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund, implemented by OHCHR, UNDP, and UN Women.

For two days, 26-27 January 2024, more than 50 people from both banks of the Nistru River, coming from different fields such as IT, journalism, communication, business, banking and marketing, worked intensively to identify digital tools to identify and counter misinformation in real time, before it spreads too far.

The participants were guided by mentors from Moldova, Romania, and Georgia and experimented with different prototypes and digital concepts to counter disinformation, as well as to monitor and verify information on social networks. They also benefited from mentoring on how to present the concepts in a most attractive way and convince the audience of their usefulness and benefits. 

“I wanted to congratulate the participants for ingenuity and new ideas, generated during the last two days, and I wanted to emphasize the role of the UN Peace Building Support Office in the development of the digital solutions for addressing the disinformation and hate speech, and the social divide, caused by them, in the Republic of Moldova. Thank you for being here and working so relentlessly on your prototypes. We were very much impressed and proud, and humbled, by the things that you can do within such a short time,” said Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.â

The three winning teams are: 

  • Providence Lab:  concept of a browser extension that will analyse and detect real news from fake news.
  • DDK: concept of a monitoring tool for information from official sources on a single platform, eliminating the need for separate searches on each government website.
  • Get Innovation: concept of a tool that will allow internet users to evaluate the content of a news story based on the narratives transmitted, validating or invalidating the information.

The Georgian expert, Jubo Berdzenishvili, who was one of the mentors of the event, pointed out that organizing such events that bring people together to share their ideas on prevention and combating disinformation facilitates positive social interactions and offers opportunities for participants to establish future collaborations.

“Journalists will be able to access information more quickly and efficiently, and thus, they will be able to react more quickly to potential disinformation. We hope that our project will become a useful tool for other journalists and users and that it will function for a long time. For us, it is important to see that our idea will bring real benefits. We are grateful to all the organizers and development partners for supporting such initiatives,” mentioned Konstantin Hairedtinov, a journalist at the portal from the city of Balți.

“In these two days, it was very challenging to choose and develop our idea into a prototype. We managed to create the project with the help of our mentors who shared their experience with us, at the same time we were supported by their encouragement to score a winning project. We would like to thank mentors and all those involved in organising this hackathon,” said Pavel Vintilă, a member of the “Get Innovation” team.

All three project concepts will use data analysis tools and algorithms to evaluate the content of information, identifying any disinformation. In the next three months, the teams will benefit from informational support and guidance.

Download here the press-release in Russian.