prebunking

  Fake news, New word
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The new science of prebunking: how to inoculate against the spread of misinformation

As behavioral scientists, we decided to focus on prevention rather than combating the problem of misinformation after it has already gone viral: prebunking rather than debunking.

We draw on inoculation theory, a psychological framework from the 1960s that aims to induce pre-emptive resistance against unwanted persuasion attempts. Just as the administration of a weakened dose of a virus (the vaccine) triggers antibodies in the immune system to fight off future infection, we reasoned that pre-emptively exposing people to weakened examples of common techniques that are used in the production of fake news would generate ‘mental antibodies’. If enough individuals are immunized, the informational ‘virus’ won’t be able to spread.

Source: On Society

Bad News
“We developed a free online browser game, Bad News, in collaboration with the Dutch media literacy organisation DROG. In the game, players take on the role of an aspiring fake news tycoon: their task is to get as many followers as possible by actively spreading fake news, learning 6 common misinformation strategies in the process (including polarization, conspiracy theories, and the use of emotion in media). The game works as a ‘vaccine’ against misinformation by letting people actively reason their way through how misinformation works prior to being exposed to the ‘real’” version on the internet.

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