Our group is involved in the H2020 project PERCEPTIONS, which aims to identify and understand narratives, imaginations and (mis-)perceptions of the EU – held outside of Europe – and the way they are distributed via various channels. Furthermore, we investigate how the information flow might be distorted and how a mismatch of expectations and reality caused by certain narratives might lead to security threats.
The main objectives of the PERCEPTIONS project are to (1) identify narratives, images and perceptions of Europe abroad, (2) investigate how different narratives could lead to problems, unrealistic expectations, security threats or even radicalisation in what way; and (3) create toolkits of creative and innovative measures to react or even counteract on them, considering social, societal and structural aspects.
We are involved in WP4, which is devoted to analysing news and social media sources to understand how narratives on EU, an in particular on migration to Europe, are shaped, spread and evolve over time. We are responsible for task 4.4. in which we analyse the networks of users discussing the topic of EU and migrations, with the goal to understand how the community is shaped and which information hubs most contribute to developing (mis)perceptions of the EU. We are also interested in understanding whether bots and fake accounts play any role in this community, through the development of a bot detection system.