Truth Matters: Strategies for Combating Manipulated Realities

Truth Matters seminar logo

Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at 9:30-15:30
Location: Helsinki Central Library Oodi, Maijansali, Töölönlahdenkatu 4, Helsinki

The event is free of charge. Registration is required.

“Truth Matters: Strategies for Combating Manipulated Realities” is a public seminar addressing manipulated realities, media literacy and fact-checking. The seminar is organized by the Fulbright Finland Foundation and it takes place at the new Helsinki Central Library Oodi.

Written and visual content is used to communicate, inform and influence, and to shape collective ideas about people, politics and public policy. Misinformation, manipulated videos and images spread on multiple platforms. How can we distinguish between true and false information, and how does the manipulation of videos and images exponentially increase this challenge? What are the implications to our societies and to our democratic institutions?

Through a keynote and a panel with Finnish and international experts, followed by hands-on workshops, the seminar focused on the challenges of manipulated content, and aimed to identify strategies and outline concrete actions that can be taken to prevent and combat threats caused by manipulated realities. The two parallel workshops in the afternoon focused on fact-checking for educators and future voters, and discussed ways to teach skills to recognize misinformation.

Seminar speakers include high-level experts in the field.


Venue: Maijansali, 1st floor

See photos from the seminar (Facebook album)

Audience listening to presentations in Maijansali at Oodi Library

9:30 Welcome Remarks
Terhi Mölsä, CEO, Fulbright Finland Foundation

Keynote Speech: Understanding Visual Mis- and Disinformation
Farida Vis, Director, Visual Social Media Lab; Professor of Digital Media, Manchester School of Art

10:45-12:15 Panel Discussion: "Manipulated Realities – Threat to our Democracy?"

Moderator: Mari K. Niemi, Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship InnoLab, University of Vaasa; Docent in Contemporary History, specializing in Political Communication


  • Päivi Anttikoski, Director General, Government Communications, Prime Minister’s Office, Finland
  • Jarno Limnéll, Professor of Cybersecurity at Aalto University, Adjunct Professor at the National Defence University, University of Jyväskylä and Tampere University of Technology
  • Barbara McCormack, Vice President of Education, Freedom Forum Institute, Newseum, Washington, D.C.
  • Mikko Salo, Faktabaari (FactBar) Co-Founder; Member of the European Commission’s High-Level Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation
  • Olli Seuri, Journalist, YLE Finland's national public broadcasting company; Journalist of the Year 2018

12:15-13:30 Lunch Break

13:30-15:20 Parallel Workshops

Both workshops are appropriate for educators, journalists, students, library and information specialists, and for the general public. Space is limited and advance registration on a first-come, first-served basis is required.

Workshop 1: Judging Fact from Fiction and Everything in Between
Barbara McCormack, Vice President of Education, Freedom Forum Institute, Newseum, Washington, D.C.

  • Review definition of freedom of press and explain how it functions in today’s society.
  • Discuss rights/law from ethics/responsibilities.
  • Analyze print, television and online media for accuracy, fairness, and clarity.
  • Review different sources of news and information and how the source can influence the content.
  • Discuss the current and possible future trends in the media environment.

Workshop 2: Faktabaari EDU Toolkit - Fact-checking for Educators and Future Voters
Mikko Salo, Faktabaari (FactBar) Co-Founder; Member of the European Commission’s High-Level Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation
Kari Kivinen, Head of the Lycée franco-finlandais d’Helsinki

15:20 Workshops End

15:30-17:30 Reception (by invitation only).


Nordic-Baltic Fulbright Initiative

The Fulbright Finland Foundation extends a special welcome to the Fulbright grantees and alumni from the Baltic and Nordic countries who are attending the Truth Matters Seminar as participants of the Fulbright Finland Foundation’s regional Nordic-Baltic Fulbright Initiative. 

Group of Fulbright grantees and alumni from the Nordic-Baltic region posing for group photo at Truth Matters seminar

See pre-seminar get-together photos


The Fulbright Finland Foundation wants to sincerely thank the numerous individuals and organizations whose support and expertise have made this Seminar possible. A special thank you to the Finnish and U.S. governments for their financial support for the Foundation, and to the U.S. Department of State for their sponsorship for this Seminar.

Logos of the U.S. State Department, American Resource Center and Faktabaari