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Fake News 'Vaccine': Online Game May 'Inoculate' by Simulating Propaganda Tactics

By University of Cambridge

February 21, 2018

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Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. say they have developed a new online game designed to provide "general immunity" against fake news and propaganda.

Players are encouraged to sow anger, mistrust, and fear in the public by manipulating digital news and social media within a simulation. Participants build audiences by publishing polarizing lies, deploying Twitter bots, visually doctoring evidence, and inciting conspiracy theories following public tragedies. Players also must maintain a "credibility score" to remain as convincing as possible.

"If you know what it is like to walk in the shoes of someone who is actively trying to deceive you, it should increase your ability to spot and resist the techniques of deceit," notes Cambridge professor Sander van der Linden.

"We want to help grow 'mental antibodies' that can provide some immunity against the rapid spread of misinformation."

From University of Cambridge
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