The Fake News Game: Actively Inoculating Against the Risk of Misinformation

Hanscom, Donald H., Jr.

The rapid spread of online misinformation poses an increasing risk to societies worldwide. To help counter this, we developed a “fake news game” in which participants are actively tasked with creating a news article about a strongly politicized issue (the European refugee crisis) using misleading tactics, from the perspective of different types of fake news producers. To pilot test the efficacy of the game, we conducted a randomized field study (N=95) in a public high school setting. Results provide some preliminary evidence that playing the fake news game reduced the perceived reliability and persuasiveness of fake news articles. Overall, these findings suggest that educational games may be a promising vehicle to inoculate the public against fake news…

 

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Jon Roozenbeek*
University of Cambridge

Sander van der Linden**
University of Cambridge