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Deep Dive Bertelsmann 3

Threats to Democracy: Climate Misinformation and Gender Related Disinformation

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, together with the Bertelsmann Foundation, is organising a Deep Dive on the topic of “Threats to Democracy: Climate Misinformation and Gender Related Disinformation“. The event will take place online and in English.

Deep Dive
Threats to Democracy: Climate Misinformation and Gender Related Disinformation

20 July 2023 | 3.00pm – 4.30pm

The global information ecosystem is pressuring democracies worldwide, with digital disinformation having devastating effects. Hate-motivated violence and the obstruction of climate action are consequences. Balancing the need to counter harmful content with protecting freedom of expression and privacy raises important questions. Gender-based disinformation and climate misinformation exploit emotional responses and societal values, hindering progress.

Digital platforms present an increasingly conflicted space where women, gender non-conforming people, and marginalised groups are disproportionately targeted and harassed. The effect is that women* are leaving online spaces, forgoing their fundamental right to participate in civil and political life. Relatedly, the climate crisis requires a whole-of-society response – and it challenges traditional realms of power and profit. Attempts to slow, discourage, and deny the need to act have been around for decades.
The question is, which strategies and tactics can be successful in addressing gender-based and climate misinformation, on a legal, societal, corporate, or community level?

Against this background, we pose the following hypotheses as conversation starters:

  • Regulation will not be able to address gender-based and climate misinformation content in a balanced, rights-respecting manner. We need to encourage, support, and expand civil engagement and explore a variety of tactics to ensure a healthy information ecosystem.
  • Both issues are related to societal transformation and if challenged in a local or national context, spill-over effects will have global and long-lasting consequences. Identifying and supporting structures and tactics that foster collaboration among communities and raise the voices of marginalised groups is crucial for everyone’s sake.

Deep Dive Format

Two facilitators and about 15 participating experts will be invited to the Deep Dive. An impulse paper will be published after each event.

The following main questions are raised:

  • How can we successfully design and bolster civil engagement efforts countering gender-based and climate misinformation?
  • What is the role of different stakeholders (i.e. governments, media, academia, civil society, businesses and others) in addressing these challenges and are you familiar with any successful examples that may lend themselves for scaling?
  • Beyond the national context: how do we address this issue at a global level, including with a view to highlighting their relevance to the resilience of democracies?

Short Impulses

After two short impulses by the following experts, we look forward to an exciting discussion:

Timo Reinfrank, Executive Director, Amadeu Antonio Stiftung

Lucina di Meco, Co-Founder, #ShePersisted

Deep-Dive Series: Digital Platforms

The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Upgrade Democracy Team, together with the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, is organising a 5-part, monthly impulse series on the topic of Digital Platforms: Design Proposals and Alternatives. The focus of the series is an intensive examination of current challenges and problems on existing social platforms and the presentation and discussion of alternatives. The topics of participation and strengthened governance with regard to the democratic design of the dominant social platforms are just as much in focus as questions about decision-making processes oriented towards the common good. The individual impulses intertwine thematically and aim to identify fields for future advocacy in the field of alternative, public good-oriented communication infrastructures.

Registration for this event is by personal invitation only.
For questions and comments please contact Katharina Mosene:

Event date

20.07.2023 | 3.00 pm – 4.30 pm ical | gcal


Online,  HIIG,   Berlin


Katharina Mosene

Researcher: AI & Society Lab


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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