Telekom Logo
  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

What can I still believe?

An internet video shows former U.S. President Barack Obama calling his successor Donald Trump a “total and complete dipshit”. Did he really just say that? It’s hard to believe, but the video clearly shows it.

Inclusive and equitable quality education

These measures are our contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

It's all fake

In reality, Barack Obama never said anything like that about his successor. The video is a “deep fake” – videos in which people's faces are transposed and their voices overlaid. That way you can make people say and do anything – even things they would never say or do. That can have dire consequences for the people involved, and even influence the outcome of elections. There are lots of opportunities on the internet for us to be influenced, such as deep fakes, fake news and social bots  img . And it’s not easy to identify them. We need to learn to not only read the news itself, but to pay attention to other things as well: Who is the sender? Is the source reputable? In short: We need media literacy. However, this involves more than just distinguishing between “true” and “false”. For instance, we need to know how to navigate the internet, protect our data from unauthorized access, and to not post anything that others could take advantage of. In short, we need to learn the skills to ensure that that the internet enriches our everyday lives instead of being a burden.

Barbara Costanzo, Vice President for Group Social Engagement

“As a society, we cannot afford to leave people behind on the road to the digital future. That’s why we are promoting media literacy among children, young people and adults of all ages through various projects and initiatives.”

In the jungle of stories of being #TAKEPART

How can I as an internet user identify fake news and social bots  img ? We answer that on our website Under the heading “Opinion Making on the Internet”, the focus is on how our opinion is influenced on the internet and what we can do to defend ourselves. But the initiative Stories of being #TAKEPART is not just about fake news, it also highlights many other current issues from our everyday digital life, such as how to protect yourself against online harassment and bullying. How can we control our digital legacy? What opportunities and risks does the internet present to democracy? Stories of being #TAKEPART is filled with practical tips that are suitable for self-study. It also provides materials that can be used to hold workshops for young and old.

All aboard

We are working to build media literacy skills in the population. In 2019, we reached group-wide 12,8 million people with our wide range of offerings. Some examples from Germany and Europe:

Media, sure!
But secure

Our website “Media, sure! But secure.” bundles our initiatives for more media literacy. It has been given the “we care” label label in the category “Digital participation”.


Having won multiple awards, our „Teachtoday“ initiative supports children and young people, parents and grandparents, and teaching professionals with practical, everyday tips and materials.


The Scroller children’s media magazine is geared specifically to children aged nine to twelve to improve their media literacy. SCROLLER is available in both an interactive web version and a free print format.


Together with BAGSO, the German National Association of Senior Citizen's Organisations, we promote media literacy among older people and support the Goldene Internetpreis (Golden Internet Award). It is given to dedicated individuals who support older people on the internet.


Our national companies are also committed to promoting media literacy. The Junior Engineer Academies (JIAs) in Greece are a good example. The program teaches STEM skills  img to secondary-level students (grade eight and higher).


visitors learned about media literacy, digital democracy, and fake news at the IFA technology fair.

Stop by and join in

At IFA 2019 in Berlin, the world’s largest entertainment trade fair, we tried an experiment: Our booth featured not only new products and services, but also addressed digital participation and media literacy. On each day of the event, exciting workshops on “Digital democracy”, “Banishing trolls”, and “Recognizing fake news” were held. Added to this were talks with experts on the stage. The experiment was a success – and it obviously struck a nerve: 665 visitors took advantage of the opportunity to listen in, despite the fact that none of them had come to the fair for those topics.


Just take some time out

Be honest: Was your first action this morning checking the smartphone? We don’t even notice the extent of our digital consumption. And doing so, we shift a lot of power to our smartphones instead of ourselves. In our We Care Magazine we show how to just take some time out. More information here

Don’t forget to turn it off

Children of the 80s and 90s may recall that at the end of every “Löwenzahn” (Dandelion) TV show, Peter Lustig asked them to turn off the TV and go outside to play. As adults today, our smartphones are always in our pockets – and for many of us, it’s very hard to switch them off. One consequence: Researchers have discovered that the “smartphone generation” spends less and less time with their partners – for fear of missing out. For us, media literacy therefore means not only learning to use the internet critically and competently, but also knowing when it’s better to give the smartphone a break. But it’s not all that easy to talk about it, which is why we are addressing this by all means serious topic in a humorous way with our „lovemagenta connected underwear“: By connecting with the smartphone, the underwear can signal to the partner when it’s time to put the phone away and enjoy time together instead. And something that amuses us will maybe encourage us to think about our smartphone use.

Responsibility is key

Our various projects and initiatives in the field of media literacy share a common goal: to help people navigate digital media competently and safely. For us, that means doing everything possible to ensure that data entrusted to us is in safe hands – and that children and young people are protected from unsuitable content. And last but not least: The basic prerequisite for media literacy is that everyone has fast access to the internet. For a number of years now, we have therefore been investing huge sums in network expansion.