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Combating Fake News, Hate Speech and Internet Fraud at the Sociovation Forum 2023

Sociovation Forum 2023 is back with stronger community bonds! With continuing support from the Temasek Foundation, the SUSS College of Interdisciplinary and Experiential Learning (CIEL) hosted 73 undergraduate students and 15 Sociovation Alumni mentors from 22 institutions across the ASEAN region for this year’s edition. 

Group photo of all participants and guests

Building on the ideation process started by the students in 2022, students this year took a deep dive into the topics of Fake News, Hate Speech and Internet Fraud with community partners to produce useful and usable tools for the respective communities to guard against the harmful and often painful consequences of Fake News, Hate Speech and Internet Fraud.  


Students engaging in a workshop discussion

There was a total of 15 groups. Each team was tasked to address one of the three topics of Fake News, Hate Speech and Internet Fraud. The students had the opportunity to interact with each community partner that works with different constituent groups.

The students’ knowledge of the topics and the different ways to design solutions were augmented with classes by Dr Victor Seah, Acting Director at the Centre of Excellence for Behavioural Insights at Work, on Identifying, Examining, and Intervening for Behavioural Change; and workshops by experienced facilitators and community leaders. Sociovation 2023 also saw the introduction of Alumni Mentors (AMs). Students who excelled in the previous years’ programmes and are currently engaged in ground-up initiatives back home were invited back as AMs to share their expertise and value-add as regional mentors for this year’s participants. 

The students met their community partners to better understand how fake news, hate speech and internet fraud have affected and impacted the lives of youths, seniors, caregivers, and migrant workers. Telegram and additional Zoom meetings enhanced the interactions and allowed the students to clear up any doubts during the process of developing a working prototype. 

Students engaging with their community partners

Upon meeting the seniors, youths and migrant workers, the students interviewed them and learned to understand the world through their lenses. Using the knowledge from the workshops and the classes, coupled with their varied experiences of encounters with Fake News, Hate Speech and Internet Fraud, the students came up with a treasure trove of ideas and products that were shared with the community partners.  
All final campaigns were presented during the final Gallery Walk, making an impression with their projects and passion on Professor Robbie Goh, SUSS Provost, Mr Jomthip Chareonsri, Director, Temasek Foundation, and Professor Cheah Horn Mun, Dean of the College of Interdisciplinary & Experiential Learning of SUSS. Check out the students’ social media campaigns here!


Students with various stakeholders at the finale presentation

This year, the Amazing Scam Race brought participants on an expedition around the Marina Bay area, giving them a chance to take a breather and enjoy the skyline. For a healthy dose of history and culture in the heartlands, the students took the Cultural Trail in Toa Payoh, Singapore’s oldest housing development estate, to get a taste of Singapore’s progress and housing development programme.  
Ending the programme on a high through the annual Cultural Showcase, the ASEAN students all made the effort to pack their costumes for the cultural and traditional dances and songs so that they can perform and teach their peers as a farewell exchange of cultural heritage.  
Every year, Sociovation@SUSS provides opportunities for deep cross-cultural friendships to blossom between local and foreign participants. Living up to its motto to unite students for social innovation, it is heartening to see students come together to work with different community partners, proving that we are more united than we could ever imagine.  
All the programmes and activities have been made possible with support from the following speakers and organisations: 

  • Dr Anuradha Rao, Cyber Cognizant
  • Dr Perpetua Neo, Global Anti-Scam Organisation
  • Dr Victor Seah, Singapore University of Social Sciences
  • Dr Pamela Goh, Singapore University of Social Sciences
  • Mr Ken Chen, Home Team Psychology Department
  • Mr Shahril Hassan, Air Amber

Our community partners in 2023 are:   

  • Geylang Adventures
  • Lions Befrienders
  • Metropolitan YMCA
  • SG Assist
  • Thye Hua Kwan Home for Disabled@Sembawang
  • TOUCH Services
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