The numbers are cold in the back. Nearly 6,000 people around the world have been hospitalized in the past three months due to misinformation related to covid-19, according to a recent study. Many are believed to be linked to the consumption of cleaning products believed to have an effect against the virus. Fake news is a topic that takes more and more space in the public debate and we come back to this subject often in our articles.
The game “Go viral! », Initiated by researchers at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the British government and journalists, could help fight against this dangerous phenomenon. Available in English, German but also in French, it puts us in the shoes of a fake news broadcaster who seeks to popularize his fake news on social networks.
Popularize manipulation mechanisms to better counter them
The games are short, around 5 minutes, but are very informative. We learn a lot about the most commonly used tactics. It is indeed a question of using an emotional language aimed at indignant Internet users and instill fear. The game also invites us to deploy false experts to sow doubt in the minds of citizens. We are also led to identify the most popular plots to try to profit from them.
These different methods are obviously not taught to be used but precisely to better counter them. Scientists have found that people exposed to these types of games were less likely to relay and believe false news within three months of their gaming session.
“By using a simulated environment to show people how disinformation is produced, we can demystify it,” says Jon Roozenbeek, co-developer of Go Viral! and researcher in the Cambridge Department of Psychology.
To test “Go viral! “, it is this way.