Backgrounder – Helping Citizens Critically Assess and Become Resilient Against Harmful Online Disinformation


More than 20 projects are being launched to strengthen citizens’ critical thinking about disinformation and enhance their ability to get involved in democratic processes

Organization, Project, Website, Twitter Account Funding, Fiscal Year, Funding Program

Agence Science-Presse

The rumour detector is in election mode!

Agence Science-Presse (ASP) will develop teaching guides for schools and short videos, as well as a newsletter to encourage networking among key Canadian media education and information education stakeholders. ASP will also organize and deliver presentations and workshops for a variety of audiences.

Website: (French only)

Twitter: @SciencePresse

$129,345 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund

Apathy is Boring

The Creative Citizen Project

The organization will form a partnership to produce high-quality civic education, democratic participation, algorithm awareness and anti-disinformation messaging.

Citizens Initiative: Keep it Real

Youth will be engaged in an educational youth-led civic literacy campaign that raises awareness about disinformation, provides in-person opportunities to connect with their peers, and encourages informed action in the 2019 Federal Election.


Twitter: @apathyisboring

$100,000 (2018–2019)

Youth Take Charge

$340,000 (2019–2020)

Youth Take Charge

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Let’s Talk Digital

This project will engage youth in workshops and online educational tools to prepare them to be critical information consumers, as well as provide an opportunity for youth to participate in a Youth Leaders Town Hall conference.


Twitter: @BGCCAN





$460,000 (2019–2020)

Youth Take Charge

Canadian News Media Association

News Media Canada will design, develop and promote a public awareness program entitled “SPOT Fake News Online”. The project will provide Canadians of all ages with straightforward tools to encourage them to critically assess digital media and identify misleading or defamatory disinformation.

S – Is this a credible Source?

P – Is the Perspective biased?

O – Are Other sources reporting the same story?

T – Is the story Timely?


Twitter: @newsmediacanada

$484,300 (2019–2020)

Canada Periodical Fund – Collective Initiative


A proposal to protect Canadian Democracy: Building the skills of informed citizenship among youth

CIVIX will undertake a series of Democracy Bootcamps for educators supported by learning materials and a research project assessing the impact of civic and media literacy tools in the classroom.

Student Vote

Through new literacy tools and access to an e-learning platform, students will get to understand the tactics behind disinformation campaign, how to avoid being susceptible to media manipulation, and the importance of news consumption and being an informed citizen.


Twitter: @CIVIX_Canada

$100,000 (2018–2019) $540,000 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund

$175,000 (2018–2019) $400,000 (2019–2020)

Youth Take Charge

Encounters with Canada

Module on digital democracy

An educational module on Digital Democracy will be developed to help sensitize Canadian youth to the perils of fake news, and how to be a responsible digital citizen. This module will be made available to youth participating in week-long events through 2019–2020 and 2020–2021.


Twitter: @EWC_RDC

$100,000 (2018–2019)

Exchanges Canada Program

Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec

Press Week – Schools

Presentation of the “#30sec to check it out” workshop in Quebec high schools. Development of a partnership with high school librarians. Creation of a magazine about journalism for female students

Press Week – General public

A public awareness campaign on the importance of obtaining and seeking out reliable, quality information and on restoring the public’s confidence in the information media.

#30sec to check it out

The FPJQ will give workshops designed to raise awareness among cégep and university students and the general public about the dangers of fake news and explain how to identify it and fight back. The FPJQ also wants to create a new module on how fake news spreads. This will involve developing a few different versions of the workshop and assembling a team of journalists who will be trained to present the various versions of the “#30sec to check it out” workshop.

Websites: (French only),

Twitter: @FPJQ

$32,005 (2019–2020)

$116,205 (2019–2020)

$54,360 (2019–2020)

Canada Periodical Fund – Collective Initiative

Global Vision

Junior Team Canada Digital Citizenship Ambassador Program

Through a four-day summit, online forums and a video challenge, youth will be engaged in a hands-on leadership and entrepreneurship program that will provide them with the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge, and to engage in society, politics and government on digital platforms.


Twitter: @myglobalvision

$260,000 (2019–2020)

Youth Take Charge

Historica Canada

Critical Digital Literacy

The Critical Digital Literacy Project will produce a series of three bilingual videos and a bilingual education guide to give Canadians a foundation in critical digital literacy for assessing historical narratives and current events.


Twitter: @HistoricaCanada

$250,000 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund

Institute for Canadian Citizenship

Defending Citizenship: Building resilience, strengthening democracy

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) will create a multi-faceted digital engagement project that leverages their national network of new Canadian citizens and the ICC’s experience and knowledge of the foundations of civil society.


Twitter: @ICCICC

$250,000 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund

Journalists for Human Rights

Fighting disinformation through strengthened media and citizen preparedness

Development and deployment of learning materials, curricula and new media tools through ongoing workshops for journalists and facilitation of public digital and news literacy to combat misinformation


Twitter: @JHRNEWS

$250,691 (2019–2020)

Canada Periodical Fund – Collective Initiative

Magazines Canada

Magazine strategies in the age of disinformation

Magazines Canada will identify successful tools and strategies, both domestic and international, that combat the “fake news” phenomenon, thereby equipping the industry to promote its trustworthiness to audiences including readers and advertisers.

The project is a compilation of training sessions, awareness-raising activities and tools to better position Canada’s magazine media as trusted sources of news and information. To do so, Magazines Canada will partner with FIPP, the network for global media, to uncover and promote successful strategies and campaigns that have countered misinformation on the international, as well as on the domestic, stage.


Twitter: @magscanada

$63,000 (2019–2020)

Canada Periodical Fund – Collective Initiative

McGill University in cooperation with the University of Ottawa

The Digital Ecosystem Research Challenge

The Max Bell School of Public Policy will launch and organize the Digital Ecosystem Research Challenge. The national competition will identify and fund research projects, tool development, and citizen-led experiments to better understand the information ecosystem in the lead up to and during the 2019 federal election.


Twitter: @MaxBellSchool

$1,196,205 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund


Empowering Canadians to critically assess digital media

MediaSmarts will create a multi-pronged approach to combat disinformation online, including an extensive social media campaign and online learning materials. The project will culminate in October 2019 with Media Literacy Week, the world’s longest-running event focused on raising awareness of media and digital literacy—including the importance of digital citizenship among youth, parents, educators and the general public.


Twitter: @MediaSmarts

$650,000 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund

New Canadian Media

Good Digital Citizens: Empowering Immigrant Journalists in their Communities

Anti-disinformation training for journalists. Targeted reader survey on journalism credibility. The project will help mitigate the impacts of disinformation within Canada’s diverse immigrant communities by providing knowledge, skills and tools for identification, as well as engage these communities in an online discourse.


Twitter: @NewCdnMedia

$66,517 (2019–2020)

Canada Periodical Fund – Collective Initiative

Ryerson University

Democratic Discourse

The Democratic Engagement Exchange and the Ryerson Leadership Lab will address the growing challenge of online disinformation and fostering civic literacy. The project will include the research and development of digital and civic literacy online and print materials, training, and distribution of materials to community-based organizations committed to fostering civic engagement.


Twitter: @RUEngageX

$290,250 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund

Samara Centre for Democracy

Field guide to online political conversations

The Samara Centre for Democracy will create resources to provide research-based advice to Canadians about the nature of social media platforms and how they shape our online interactions.


Twitter: @SamaraCDA

$59,200 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund

Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association

SPOT Fake News Online – SK

SWNA will work with News Media Canada in a public awareness campaign and educational resource development, targeted to audiences in Saskatchewan. Website:

Twitter: @swnainfo

$70,055 (2019–2020)

Canada Periodical Fund – Collective Initiative

Simon Fraser University

Citizens in action: Canadians tackling misinformation in the digital age

The Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue will create a citizen-powered anti-disinformation project designed to raise awareness of online disinformation. Reaching all regions of Canada in both official languages, the project will spark discussions about disinformation through a national poll and awareness campaign.


Twitter: @SFUDialogue




$175,000 (2019–2020)

Canada History Fund

Vubble Inc. Unboxed project

Citizens in action: Canadians tackling misinformation in the digital age

The Vubble Credibility Meter is designed to provide Canadians with an easily accessible tool to assess online videos. Editors use the tool to assess content based on a 15-point metric scoring system that assesses sources, data use, bias, presentation, and author credibility. The tool will be supported by an openly accessible database of French and English codified short-form public service videos. This database will be available on the open web and will be filterable. In addition to the tool and database, the project will help standardize the codification of content among Canadian creators and publishers, and expand the diversity of content distribution via the proprietary ‘bias spread’ algorithmic approach. The project aims at lifting the critical thinking among Canadian citizens.


Twitter: @vubblePOP





$299,000 dollars (2019-2020)

Canada History Fund

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