A new era for digital disruption



Digital Disruption was born out of the pilot project in Tower Hamlets that this blog showcases. Following the success of this pilot, in the past year Digital Disruption has been developed into a new brand with a mission to improve young people’s ability to critically navigate the web. A series of educational tools have just been launched (21/02/12), and the four films from the pilot project that could formerly be found on this blog are now hosted alongside the new content on the Digital Disruption website. The new tools include animations that break down some of the basic techniques of propaganda used across brand advertising, political content and conspiracy films online, a ‘Source Check’ resource, and films that highlight how easily facts can be manipulated to push contradictory messages online.

For the educational tools visit: www.digitaldisruption.co.uk
For the Who Owns Truth App click here

This is just the beginning of our mission to empower young people to be savvier consumers of digital content. As we embark on this campaign to raise awareness about the importance of digital judgement, we’d love to hear from you. Please us send your feedback on the tools and ideas on the Digital Disruption website, or just say hi to team@digitaldisruption.co.uk

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Introduction to Production

This workshop involved getting our hands dirty with some production work. Yunus had worked up some draft lyrics for our music video about media influence so we recorded him practicing. These lyrics will be developed further to suit the messages we want to convey. It will primarily be a motivational piece; introducing young people to the concept of propaganda, discussing its dangers and calling them to get educated. The short clip we recorded today is posted here:

The rest of the group did some on-the-street interviews with friends + local residents and thought we’d ask them about the urban legend on which we’re looking to base our bogus propaganda. Tony cut the resulting footage into a kind of teaser trailer for our bogus propaganda film. We’ll upload that trailer soon.

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Fact or Fiction?

As our award winning online education project ‘Digital Disruption’ moves into the distribution phase, we’ve been testing an early version of our Bogus Conspiracy film: The Vampire Conspiracy to see how audiences react to it. The result has totally exceeded our expectations with the film capturing the imagination of a number of online Bloggers who have embedded it into conspiracy sites and forums throughout the internet. See, for example, the post and discussion about the film here: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread598776/pg1.

It seems that Bloggers have embellished their own theories, curiosity and fear without really checking the film’s credibility at all: reminding us how easy it can be to manipulate people’s perceptions through the media, and how easily misinformation and propaganda can spread and mutate. You can find out more about the project here http://www.digidisruption.co.uk

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Digital Disruption Documentary Trailer

The Digital Disruption project has raised a number of questions about the positive and negative aspects of media influence and the need for better media education. We’ve begun drafting ideas for a full length documentary or TV series in which young people set out to answer those questions. Here’s our teaser trailer:

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Film Three Brainstorm

Today we brainstormed Film 03 with some of the group at the MCP. The Vampire Conspiracy a few times, mapped out where various Propaganda techniques are used and brainstormed some interesting ways to highlight them to our audience in Film 03. Here’s a little bit of video we took in the session

At the end we agreed that in preparation for the next workshop, Lindsay from Bold Creative will write the idea’s up into a basic script so the group can work them up in more detail.

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Film Two: Test Screening

This week the guys pulled in small groups of young people from the streets around the MCP and we showed them the first cut of made-up conspiracy film: The Vampire Conspiracy. We wanted to get some initial feedback from young people to see if the film worked and made a clear and convincing case. After each screening we interviewed audience members outside (Check the video below).

FEEDBACK

The responses we got were generally really positive but we definitely noticed that there was a tendency for some young people to start switching off a few minutes into the film. Also, exit interviews suggested that while may people were convinced by our ‘evidence’, they didn’t fully understand all the content. We will be taking some of this information into account in shaping a final film that will undoubtably be shorter, faster and have more information towards the beginning. We’re also thinking about recording the narration with a young person from the group.

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Film Two: First Look

We’re in the middle of putting together our second film at the moment (The Vampire Conspiracy). We’re making it out of influential material we find online and intentionally using basic software to show how easy it is to create a convincing propaganda. The only thing we’re shooting ourselves are a few interviews for the film. Here’s a rough cut that we’re going to show to young people around the estate. We’ll shape the final version based on their feedback.

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Film One: This Is Propaganda

Here we have it – the first draft of our animation! We have started tagging it on videos online that we believe could be forms of propaganda. Hopefully after seeing our video they will think twice about believing everything they see on the net. We hope the video will be a wake up call to people out there who are highly impressionable by what they see online. The sound team are still working on some sound effects for the clip, but we couldn’t wait any longer, we just had to give you a first look.

Digital Disruption: This is Propaganda from Bold Creative Work-in-Progress on Vimeo.

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Digital Disruption Guardian Article and Video

We got a visit from The Guardian a little while ago and were pretty happy with the article they wrote about the project. Check it out here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/29/young-muslims-fighting-extremist-propaganda

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Film One: Shoot

Just after the Christmas break we all got together to shoot our first proper film. Having finished editing the audio recorded with Yunus at Arnold Circus, we came up with a plan for creating an eye catching video/animation that introduces our audience to our concept. We hope that this video will encourage our audience to question what they see online.

We shot the video around at the Mile End skate park and around the local graffiti wall, editing it into this basic background sequence (see below).

The next job is to take this sequence and have some fun bringing it to life in our animation studio. The key message will be that propaganda is everywhere and that young people in Mile End need to be educated in order to identify it properly and protect themselves.

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Digital Disruption is a project to

challenge and disrupt extremist

messages on the internet by

building resilience in vulnerable

communities.


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