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Meet Team TITAN: Edward De Vooght from Artevelde University of Applied Sciences

This post is part of a series of articles introducing members of the TITAN Consortium and their motivations for working on disinformation and AI research and innovation.

Edward De Vooght Photo and Quote from the article

Who are you, where do you work, and what is your role on the TITAN project?

My name is Edward De Vooght and I work for Artevelde University of Applied Sciences in the city of Ghent. My role in the Titan project is as a lead for the Use Case implementation of Titan with students in Higher Education in Belgium. Moreover, Artevelde is tasked with developing a methodology to assess the impact of Titan.


Have you experienced disinformation yourself?

As a young student, I was convinced that global warming was not primarily driven by human

conduct. I was building on marginal studies and critical opinion pieces. However, it was only by questioning why I was willing to believe the few instead of the many, that I learned that critical thinking sometimes leads you to believe disinformation just to give you the feeling that you are not mainstream.


What trends do you see regarding disinformation and the move to mitigate/counter its

influence? (e.g., tools / services / markets / demographics)

Disinformation is not a new thing, but its propagation, impact and proliferation is unseen due to the fast-pace communication of contemporary times. We are slowly starting to understand this. Disinformation is not a thing you can see. Disinformation is always truthful until you check it with reliable sources. Therefore, to increase critical awareness we must challenge the way people process information in general and not disinformation specifically.


What do you think is unique about TITAN's approach to countering disinformation? 

Titan contributes to the new approaches to disinformation that sail away from truth-policing

(battling falsehoods with truths), and towards stimulating critical thinking in citizens to

reflect, question and challenge their own relation with (dis)information.


What’s a fact about yourself that people might find surprising?

Although I am working as a social scientist on challenges that impact daily life, politics and

society, my education is actually in literature. So I am still very fascinated by poems, literary

fiction and especially - as I am a classicist – Vergil, Ovid and Cicero.

 

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