The BuloBús (Hoax Bus): route against disinformation

by Foundation, Spain.

The ‘BuloBús (HoaxBus): Route Against Disinformation‘ embarked on a 9-month journey, a groundbreaking media literacy initiative by the Foundation, powered by the Google News Initiative. Their aim? Empowering rural communities, especially seniors, with vital tools to shield against hoaxes and scams through educational resources. Journalists and media literacy experts from embarked on a journey across 17 municipalities of Spain aboard a microbus, actively involving seniors in the process of identifying disinformation and raising awareness about online scams. sought out the most central and bustling spaces in each town to carry out three specific activities: the installation of the BuloBús with a public assistance stand to offer educational materials, information, and advice to help residents avoid falling for hoaxes and scams; the delivery of a workshop on cybersecurity and disinformation at one of the local high schools; and the staging of a free theater production, open to the general public, addressing the issue of misinformation, scams, and their consequences through dramatized examples, providing attendees with the keys to identify hoaxes and maintain a healthy digital coexistence.

Empowering communities on the go

In order to extend its reach beyond urban centers, intentionally focused on identifying areas with fewer than 40,000 inhabitants and a population of people over 65 ranging from 15% to 30%. Once the route was mapped, Maldita orchestrated a series of activities in each location. These ranged from developing educational materials for public assistance stands to designing misinformation workshops in schools and crafting dynamic educational workshops for local residents. Utilizing a theater format, these workshops brought to life examples of hoaxes debunked by, aimed at promoting media literacy and awareness.

Innovative tools for safer digital spaces

According to the Digital News Report 2022, 39% of adults aged 65 and older claim that their primary source of morning news is the internet, surpassing both radio and television. Additionally, 43% share news through instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. In response to this trend, focused on disseminating not only the key points but also the tools to create a safer digital environment for older adults, including’s WhatsApp chatbot, a completely free service to verify any content they receive.

For the public assistance stand, developed 5 educational materials that featured large font sizes and contained content specifically useful for the elderly population (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). These materials addressed topics such as detecting mobile scams, preventing bank fraud, identifying hoaxes and how to respond to them, as well as using’s WhatsApp chatbot (+34 644 22 93 19) to verify content. This chatbot serves as an innovative tool through which citizens can report misinformation and automatically receive verified content from, in addition to receiving media literacy content. In addition to these materials, magnets, pens, and stickers related to the theme were distributed.

In each town, journalists and trainers presented the narratives behind scams so that older adults could recognize them and, more importantly, know how to react to them. The importance of being cautious with sweepstakes and offers, verifying the authenticity of bank communications, protecting personal and banking data, contacting the bank directly in case of any suspicious activity, questioning links in text messages, and above all, staying calm in the face of alarming messages was emphasised.

During the two-month route, journalists and trainers also actively engaged with the community. Numerous individuals, particularly older adults, showed significant interest in the topic, demonstrating openness to receiving these materials and posing various questions related to scams they had encountered. Additionally, many expressed gratitude for the implementation of activities related to this topic in their town.

Outcomes and Impact

Overall, the project yielded favorable results, garnering a highly positive response from the participating population. journalists engaged with approximately 1,600 individuals during street activities, facilitating meaningful interactions and discussions. Additionally, they conducted training sessions for approximately 460 students across 8 schools situated along the route, effectively disseminating crucial media literacy skills. This comprehensive outreach effort resulted in reaching a total of nearly 1,900 individuals, contributing significantly to the project’s overarching goals of combating misinformation and promoting critical thinking.
The communication plan driven by a joint effort of with Google News Initiative resulted in over 130 appearances in national and regional media in Spain in digital, television, radio, and print formats. More than 36 interviews were conducted with high-impact media outlets such as Onda Cero (1, 2, 3), 20 minutos, Cadena SER (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), RTVE (1, 2, 3, 4), Castilla La Mancha and Canal Extremadura (1, 2, 3). is a non-profit foundation based in Spain that builds public trust by fighting disinformation and promoting transparency through journalism, education, technology, research and policy action. Our work is underscored by specialised teams, cutting edge technological tools, and an extensive community of citizens who collaborate with us in the battle against disinformation. Their mission is to provide all actors affected—from legislators and digital platforms to journalists, citizens & educators— with tools, capacities, and evidence-based content so that they can make informed decisions, and together we can foster a more resilient, accessible, and trustworthy media & information ecosystem.