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Researchers Consider To Develop 'Fake News' Vaccine

First Posted: Jan 24, 2017 04:00 AM EST

Fake news has been quite spreading lately, especially on social media. This happening has inspired scientists to create a so-called "vaccine" to immunize people against this false news.

In a report by BBC, a study from the University of Cambridge devised a psychological tool to combat this fake news problem. The researchers suggest to "pre-emptively exposing" readers to a small dose of the misinformation can help the organizations cancel out the bogus claims.

The report shows that among the other fake news, the most concerned would be the stories regarding Syria and the U.S. election.

Thus, the study lead author at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Sander van der Linden, said that "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, that is published in the journal Global Challenges include more than 2,000 U.S. residents. They were presented with two claims regarding global warming.

The researchers said, when they presented consecutively, the influence of the well-established facts had on people were canceled out by the bogus claims conducted by the campaigners. However, when the information combined with some misinformation, in a form of warning, the so-called fake news had less resonance.

Dr. Sander van der Linden said that, "It's uncomfortable to think that misinformation is so potent in our society. A lot of people's attitude toward climate change aren't very firm. They are aware there is a debate going on but aren't necessarily sure what to believe. Conflicting messages can leave them feeling back at square one," according to Phys.org.

Also, formulated stories that the Pope allegedly was backing Donald Trump and also his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton sold weapons to the so-called Islamic State group were read and spread by millions of Facebook users during the time of the U.S. election campaign.

Meanwhile, the largest social media network had announced that the new features can help combat this so-called fake news stories. Thus, Google and Twitter had to make more effort to handle this issue.

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