A new study developed by scientists at the University of Cambridge has proved that we need a vaccine against fake news. Researchers have developed a psychological tool which was used as an immunization system to target and abolish the distortion of facts. Researchers noted that readers are exposed to misinformation every day, and they intend to help companies to give up fake facts.
- The social media sometimes presents real and fictional news in the same way.
- That is why we may have the impression that both types are real, without being able to distinguish one form the other.
- Scientists have developed a tool which may help us be less vulnerable to fake news.
Among the news which raised concerns are stories about Syria and US election. Dr. Sander van der Linden, who is the lead author of the study, claimed that misinformation could be dangerous, just like a virus spreading and infecting everyone. The primary goal of these researchers is to offer a cognitive tool that helps people become immune to fake news and thus, the next time they come across such news; they should be less vulnerable.
The study was conducted as an experiment, and it was published in the Global Challenges magazine. Approximately two thousand US residents were presented with two different data about climate change. Scientists argue that the influence of accurate news had on the participants were immediately canceled by the false claims submitted by campaigners.
Nevertheless, when they combined misinformation with correct information, they revealed that the false facts had little effect on people. False stories which argued that the Pope was supporting Trump and Clinton to sell weapons to the Islamic State group were shared by Facebook users millions of times during the election campaign.
The largest social network in the world has later declared that they developed new features bound to help combat the occurrence of fake news which could influence the masses, thus, putting pressure on Twitter and Google to act in the same respect. In the meantime, German authorities have suggested the creation of a special government unit meant to battle against misinformation in the run-up to the general election this year.
However, a senior Labor MP announced last week that British politics is at risk at being infected by this ‘virus.’ We all know that the deliberate developing of news to entertain or fool the masses is not new. However, the social media has the custom to present fictional and real stories as if both categories were true and one can no longer distinguish one type from the other.
Image courtesy of: pixabay