October 1, 2022

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With pre-made short videos, you can make people resist online misinformation

With pre-made short videos, you can make people resist online misinformation

You can refute the misinformation then, but sometimes the damage has already been done: people have come to believe it. Would prevention be better than cure? no Debunk something but Pre-fermentation?

According to psychologists from the universities of Cambridge and Bristol, this is possible. in Great online survey They found that people who first watched a short video explaining the manipulation tactics were better able to spot misinformation on social media, they wrote in the journal science progress. They compare it to a vaccine.

made by psychologists Animation videos Ninety seconds explain manipulation and deception. These are: emotional language, paradoxical claims, false incongruities (“friend or foes”), scapegoats, and fallacious fallacies. Lessons are illustrated with examples from series and movies such as South Park And the star Wars.

Six experiments showed that people who watched videos were nearly as good at identifying misinformation on social media. They noticed inconsistencies more than twice as many people who had not seen the movies. 6,464 people participated in the experiments. According to the researchers, neither political affiliation nor level of education made any difference. They stress that through the videos they target everyone who wants to stay away from manipulation.

Read about distrust of science: Facts fail

The films were also tested “In the Wild”. For fifteen days, two videos were shown in the US before the YouTube videos. Then a claim was made to a third of the viewers. They were also (slightly) more able to recognize manipulation or misinformation than the control group.

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One of the videos on YouTube.

A step forward’

According to the British researchers, their widely applied approach could happen game changer In the fight against misinformation online. They have teamed up with Google, which has its own team (‘Jigsaw’) to counter disinformation and extremism.

Media researcher Peter Burger, coordinator of the Leiden fact-checking initiative Nieuwscheckers, considers the British research a “scientific step forward”, but doubts its practical application. “How persistent is the effect,” he asks, and whether it will hold up in “highly polarized discussions” and points to the small difference – about 5 percent on average – that the experiment made “in the wild.”

Burger also doubts whether companies are willing to participate on a large scale in Preprocessing. “You can also expect this to lead to a backlash and move some users to other platforms.” In short, the fact-finding expert sees “no evidence yet that we Preprocessing The silver bullet against misinformation.

Burger’s colleague, Alexander Bleiter, has another reservation: “It seems to me that it is useful for people to learn to recognize and see these tactics through these tactics, but it is not that the tactics from these films are used for all the misinformation. It can also be brought in impartially. Extremely. Sometimes, you really have to figure out if a claim is true.”

Fear of spiders

The latter certainly applies to another new study, the study of the “global spread of misinformation about spiders.” An international group of scientists analyzed for the journal current biology 5,348 news articles about spiders from 81 countries and 40 languages.

The quality of ‘spin-related information’ was generally found to be ‘exceptionally poor’, by search. Nearly half of the articles (47 percent) contained inaccurate information about spiders, and more than 40 percent were “interesting”. Local and international media scored worse than local and regional media.

The researchers’ conclusions are consistent with the findings of psychologists about Pre-fermentation: The irrational fear of spiders is fueled by emotional language. Articles that don’t give the floor to spider experts – but possibly others – also contribute.