The spread of fake news and hate speech on social media is a major problem for democratic societies. Thanks to the Representation of the European Commission in Germany, we were able to develop a simulation game centred on young adults that makes dealing with this problem at EU level a playful experience. 

After a small topic-centred 'bingo' breaks the ice at the beginning, the #FactorFake simulation game involves the EU Parliament jointly presenting both a law to regulate fake news and a proposal to combat hate speech. For the participants, this means first putting themselves in the position of 'their' MEP in order to then bring in their own interests in group and committee meetings in such a way that a workable compromise can be reached at the end of the parliamentary debate. To what extent the solution found was realistic and whether the participants felt comfortable in the role of big politics, these questions will be answered in a joint evaluation at the end of the workshop. 

Due to the pandemic, the first #FactOrFake workshops had to take place online in 2021, but within the two-year implementation phase, 49 of the 54 simulation games could be carried out on site. For this, the planpolitik team travelled across the country, in all 16 federal states we were able to exchange ideas with youths and young adults about fake news, hate speech and the functioning of the European Union. More than 1,900 participants had the opportunity to slip into the role of political responsibility for a few hours.

Whether in the north on Rügen, in the east in Dresden, in the south in Grafing or in the west in Übach-Palenberg - the conception and implementation effort was definitely worth it. The feedback from the participants, which was collected individually for each workshop, also bears witness to this. Overall, nine out of ten respondents said they were satisfied with the event, with the simulation game method and the space for freer discussions being emphasised positively again and again. 

The #FaktOderFake simulation game series has once again shown us what creative ideas young people and young adults develop, especially when it comes to containing dangers on the net. At the same time, many students not only emphasised the fun factor of the simulation game itself, but also stressed in personal conversations how important a regulation at EU level seems to them after the workshop. It is true that the mechanisms, different interests and pitfalls of such a transnational legislative process can be intuitively conveyed through the simulation game method! 

As soon as the materials are online on the Commission's website, you will find the link here. If you would like to be notified, follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter! 

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