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'Pre-Bunking' Shows Promise in Fight Against Misinformation

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The researchers said short online videos that teach basic critical thinking skills can make people better able to resist misinformation online.

Credit: Charlotte May/Pexels/

Researchers at the U.K.'s Cambridge University and University of Bristol, the University of Western Australia, and Google have found that "pre-bunking" is a simple and promising method to prevent misinformation.

Pre-bunking involves using fictional examples to teach people how misinformation works and how to become resistant to it.

The researchers created short online videos akin to public service announcements, highlighting certain misinformation techniques, like emotionally charged language, personal attacks, and false comparisons of unrelated items.

After giving participants a series of claims, the researchers found that those who watched the videos were better able to distinguish between false and accurate information.

Google now will issue a series of pre-bunking videos on YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok in Eastern Europe on scapegoating, which has been seen in misinformation campaigns about Ukrainian refugees.

From Associated Press
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