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Commissioner Mariya Gabriel visits the House of European History

For fighting disinformation, a multi-dimensional approach is needed, which includes transparency of online news, pluralism and independence of the media, and development of tools to verify content.

Mariya Gabriel. the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth visited the House of European History on 29th June 2021 to see the exhibition “Fake For Real, A History of Forgery and Falsification”.

The exhibition demonstrates a history of forgery going back in time almost 2000 years – with the goal of raising awareness today on how easy and dangerous it is to deceive human beings into believing something fake.

eTwinning has been fighting “deception” since its birth in 2005. However, it was made clear during 2020, the year of the Corona pandemic, that the exposure of citizens to disinformation is a major challenge not only for adults but also for students.

Commissioner Gabriel stated about the exhibition:

“It’s very important because we can see that sometimes, even in our history, there are important facts that are fake news. What I like very much about the exhibition is the interactive way of transmitting knowledge, making it a game (for example, for our children). We know that it is another way to touch more people, to bring more attention to this topic. It shows how important it is, on one side, to have the lessons learnt from our history but on the other side, to bring the younger generation – the next generation – up in a more innovative and more interactive way.”

After the end of her visit, Commissioner Gabriel met with a representative of the Central Support Service of eTwinning. On the question of the role of teachers and eTwinning – the online community of teachers in Europe - in equipping students with the necessary skills to fight disinformation, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel stated:

“Teachers have a crucial role to play here because teachers are the ones who can really make our young people understand what critical thinking means, and how to make informed choices. Teachers need too to have access to different skills, to different tools, and that’s why eTwinning is so important. On one side, teachers can exchange best practices, can have access to online materials, to innovative pedagogies and, on the other side, this is the best way really to touch our young people and make them understand that they have tools at their disposal. It is up to them to make informed choices and that’s very, very encouraging. That’s why I count very much on eTwinning.”