Talk (30 min): Debunking strategies regarding fake news on the Internet
Findings from communication science
Join online: viscon.ethz.ch/livestream
In the talk, it is planned to identify strategies from psychological and communication science research on how to effectively refute fake news distributed online. Current studies and practical examples will be presented and discussed.
The development of evidence-based recommendations on how fake news and myths can be appropriately exposed (debunking) in online communication and how belief in them can be minimised is important not only for each individual but for society as a whole. The change in media leads to a new configuration of communication and information processes through digitalisation, differentiation, increased complexity, and omnipresence. The players in digital communication are becoming more heterogeneous and we also find public communication on the Internet that is guided by one-sided interests. In terms of communicative practices, it then becomes apparent that there is more room for information of all kinds. This is one of the reasons why myths and fake news persist even in the information age of the Internet, although evidence-based, scientific information and research articles as well as qualitative journalistic debunking contributions are potentially easily accessible here. In everyday life, however, people have little time, cognitive resources, and/or motivation to understand complex topics such as scientific or medical findings. This is why erroneous knowledge often arises. These fake news, myths, misunderstandings are then relatively stable in people's minds and difficult to eliminate. It sometimes requires special debunking strategies to correct once anchored myths. Normatively, it is desirable to be able to effectively combat false news and myths, which have been classified as one of the main threats to our society by the World Economic Forum.