Fake news has been a topic that has come up often in the last few months, with some saying it helped President Donald Trump win the election while the president himself called his “Golden Shower Gate” controversy another piece of fake news.
Around the world too, there have been various instances recently involving fake news —China, Germany and Sweden, among others, are mulling action against Facebook and other social media platforms for the propagation of misinformation; Pakistan’s defense minister threatened Israel with nuclear war based on a bogus news story; a fake news story about a blast in Thailand triggered the safety check feature on Facebook; and so on.
One of the leading topics about which there is a plethora of misinformation is climate change, an issue whose effects are not limited to one country alone but have an impact on the entire planet and all life-forms on it. And in a paper published Monday, researchers suggest using a psychological “vaccine” to inoculate the public against the damaging effects of misleading “myths about climate change.”
In a statement, the researchers from universities of Yale, George Mason, and Cambridge in the United Kingdom, said: “A new study compared reactions to a well-known climate change fact with those to a popular misinformation campaign. When presented consecutively, the false material completely cancelled out the accurate statement in people’s minds — opinions ended up back where they started. Researchers then added a small dose of misinformation to delivery of the climate change fact, by briefly introducing people to distortion tactics used by certain groups. This ‘inoculation’ helped shift and hold opinions closer to the truth — despite the follow-up exposure to ‘fake news’.”Read More...
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