STATES CHRONICLE – False news has invaded all social media sites as if it were a virus. A similar scenario happened during the US presidential election. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of situations which have been exaggerated or wrongfully presented by the media. False facts lead us to doubt those who are actually real. Experts argue that information may have a high impact especially when our brain is forced to handle a lot of information all at once.
Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist at the University of Cambridge, claimed that sometimes people then to interpret data in an algorithmic way. He also noted that we read news online, the popularity of viral content usually indicates that the data must be significant and accurate even if it is not. The perception of the masses is that news which is read by everyone and looked at by so many people indicates that they are actually worth sharing.
Based on the research conducted by Van der Linden, people may not actually be entirely oblivious to believe everything they can hear. He published his new study in the Global Challenges magazine. The paper indicated that we might be able to “immunize” ourselves against believing in fake news. The “vaccine” does not use a needle, but it is similar in many respects with how to vaccinate against real viruses.
Anthony Leiserowitz, the co-author of the study and also the one who directs the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, stated that when people are exposed to a poorer version of misinformation, it will later protect them, building a defense mechanism, keeping them away from the effects of disinformation.
In the new study, scientists focused on the false news regarding anti-climate change rhetoric. They shared data suggesting that climate researchers do not agree on the fact that global warming is caused by humans. The study has proved that 97% of climate scientists do believe that humans are causing climate change. Despite this information, Leiserowitz assumed that about 15% of Americans understand what this is about.
Thus, the rest of the citizens are vulnerable to misinformation regarding climate change. Based on this study, if you tell people how scientific consensus works, while also increasing public perception of it, there are, however, high forces like disinformation campaigns which debunk the ideas shared by consensus builders.
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