"Fake News Vaccine"
The proliferation of fake news on websites and social media has inspired scientists to develop a â€œvaccineâ€ to immunise people against the problem.
19:20 25 January 2017
Fake news proliferating on websites and social media, particularly those stories related on the US election and Syria, have caused massive concerns recently.
Fabricated stories alleging the Pope was backing Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton sold weapons to the so-called Islamic State group were read and shared by millions of Facebook users during the US election campaign.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge developed a “vaccine” to target fact distortion suggesting that “pre-emptively exposing” readers to a small “dose” of the misinformation can help organisations cancel out bogus claims.
Lead author Dr Sander van der Linden, said: "Misinformation can be sticky, spreading and replicating like a virus,"
"The idea is to provide a cognitive repertoire that helps build up resistance to misinformation, so the next time people come across it they are less susceptible."
The study was participated by more than 2,000 US residents who were presented with two claims about global warming. Researchers found that when presented consecutively, the influence that well-established facts had on people were cancelled out by bogus claims made by campaigners.