Fake news is a big problem, according tomedia, and is expected to get worse as advanced technologies such as deepfake become more acceptable to ordinary consumers. Misinfo and false information led to the rise of many conspiracy theories, and the likes of QAnon received a degree of support that would not have been possible without social media.
So how exactly do you fight fake news? Researchers are now testing whether pre-bunking is an effective technique.
The University of Cambridge’s Social Decision Lab has teamed up with the Uk Cabinet Office and a media group called DROG to create “Go Viral!” Game. The online game, based on research into human psychology and how the brain works, essentially allows players to create their own conspiracies and fake news to understand how these misalters are generated.
The idea behind creating the game is to make the public understand how easy it is to make fake news by letting them create their own fake news.
The game uses text-based cues, a bit like a book called “Choose Your Own Adventures,” but it’s educational. Players are told to filter bubbles and how these algorithms allow players to see only the content of like-interested people. The game also points to how emotions, especially anger, increase player engagement and require players to use this knowledge to spread their own plots.
Players upgrade by mastering new technologies such as “emotions”, which allow them to manipulate their followers more skillfully. The game is very complex for a simple educational tool, although it only takes about 5 minutes for the player to play it again.