Buzzard: An app for more democratic discourse

The Internet is not always a safe place. What comes across as a well-researched report can turn out to be fake news. Hate messages and conspiracy theories are also spreading rapidly here. A special app helps to keep track of the jungle of opinions.

Where and how do we actually inform ourselves about common topics of the time? Newspapers and TV as classic information media are receiving less and less attention from society, especially young people hardly use these media. Social networks, on the other hand, have become a digital home for many. We spend a lot of time here – here we exchange ideas and inform ourselves. Often very one-sided. The usual algorithms on the portals create our filter bubble. As a result, different content perspectives on a topic are missing from our news timeline.

Buzzard app screenshot.

Buzzard app screenshot. © Buzzard-App

Differentiated media consumption is important. But this is not easy to realize

As part of the campaign #TAKE PART - No hate speech, Deutsche Telekom is working with 44 partners to create a network in which everyone treats each other with respect. Media and democratic competence are key factors for a constructive dialogue on the Internet. A new addition to the partner network is Buzzard - a community of people who care about democratic discourse. With over 1500 members, Buzzard addresses the problem of media consumption. The aim of the initiative is to strengthen the formation of political opinion and to show society a critical and diverse media consumption. To this end, Buzzard compares different perspectives on current news topics. This fosters media literacy and the ability to judge – and breaks down filter bubbles. All this is done via the Buzzard app, in which many different media voices are bundled on one topic. The media literacy of young people is particularly close to Buzzard's heart. So far, more than 5000 students and 1800 teachers at over 1000 schools throughout Germany have tested the app in political and ethics lessons.

This is how Buzzard-App works

The editorial team searches for the topics of the day from more than 1800 sources. These result from sources that the editors find daily via their database, RSS readers, social media and search engines. The editors of Buzzard check all sources from the media world and classify them journalistically. This helps to protect against fake news. The focus is clearly on social and political issues. What is decisive is what established German media, relevant blogs and international media write about the topics of the day. 

Important to know: Buzzard is unbiased, transparent and ad-free. For students and teachers, the app can currently be used free of charge in various federal states and regions of Germany, where foundations or socially committed companies take over the sponsorship of the project. All students and teachers at secondary, general education schools in Bavaria, Berlin, Saxony, Thuringia as well as in Braunschweig, Lübeck and the district of Birkenfeld in Rhineland-Palatinate currently receive free access. Interested schools can also purchase a license to use the app at their school. Interested organizations and companies can also acquire a license for their employees and book workshops on media literacy for their trainees and trainers in order to train their skills in dealing with fake news and filter bubbles in their own organization. Buzzard offers different membership packages for this purpose.

#TAKEPART in fighting for a network without hate

No Hate Speech

Words must not become a weapon. Deutsche Telekom is fighting for a network without hate in which we treat one another respectfully.