Misinformation is a complex problem pervading many aspects of society, with technological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects. Countering misinformation requires tackling the many-headed beast from a variety of disciplines and directions. The 4D Project synthesizes four research themes: Detect, Deconstruct, Debunk, and Deploy. Detection involves training machine learning models, in collaboration with UK-based political scientists, to automatically detect and categorize climate misinformation in real-time. Deconstruction uses a critical thinking methodology developed with University of Queensland philosophers to analyse and identify reasoning fallacies in misinformation. Debunking can take a variety of forms, and Cook will outline his collaboration with US-based communication researchers to experimentally test different approaches and improve psychological understanding of misinformation correction. Deployment involves putting into practice the theoretical insights from the first three themes. For example, the Cranky Uncle game, developed with the U.S. creative agency Autonomy, combines critical thinking, inoculation theory, and cartoons in the form of a smartphone game that builds players’ resilience against misinformation.
Speaker: John Cook, Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub
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