A new online game that puts players in the shoes of a purveyor of fake pandemic news is the latest tactic in efforts to tackle the deluge of coronavirus misinformation costing lives across the world.
The Go Viral! game has been developed by the University of Cambridge’s Social Decision-Making Lab in collaboration with the UK Cabinet Office and media collective DROG.
It builds on research from Cambridge psychologists that found by giving people a taste of the techniques used to spread fake news on social media, it increases their ability to identify and disregard misinformation in the future.
Go Viral! is launched on the heels of a new study from the team behind it, just published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. The latest findings show that a single play of a similar game can reduce susceptibility to false information for
The increasingly visible and vocal followers of QAnon promote a bewildering blend of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, worrying everyone from Facebook to the FBI.
Once on the fringes of the internet and focused on US politics, the movement has seen sharp growth on mainstream social media platforms this year, prompting tech firms to tighten controls and ban QAnon followers.
The movement is centred on the unsubstantiated belief that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles. It has extended that this year to allege, without proof, that the coronavirus is a conspiracy by that group to control people using vaccines and 5G.
Researchers detected sharp spikes in QAnon content and related searches in March, when many countries had started imposing lockdowns and other social distancing measures.
The anxiety, frustration and economic pain caused by the pandemic — coupled with the increased amount of time people were spending — online