Google to combat misinfo on Ukrainian refugees

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Google to combat misinfo on Ukrainian refugees

Google said that it was basing its campaign on research by British psychologists, where viewers were exposed to "inoculating" clips. The campaign is centered on Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to news agency Reuters.

Google's Jigsaw subsidiary will launch a campaign aimed at tackling disinformation about Ukrainian refugeesnext week. The campaign is based on research by psychologists at two British universities.

Jigsaw will start a "pre-bunking" ad campaign based on the research on social media platforms YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok at the end of August. The campaign will be directed towards users in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, The New York Times reported.

Poland has experienced the largest intake of refugees from Ukraine of any country. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have also been major destinations for fleeing Ukrainians.

The campaign is designed to create resilience against anti-refugee narratives.

"We are thinking of this as a pilot experiment, so there's absolutely no reason that this approach couldn't be scaled to other countries," Goldberg said.

"Poland was chosen because it has the most Ukrainian refugees," she said.

What research is the campaign based on?

Psychologists from the universities of Cambridge and Bristol produced 90-second clips aimed at "inoculating" people against disinformation.

The paper, published by the Science Advances journal, posited "inoculation theory" as a method to "reduce susceptibility to misinformation by informing people about how they might be misinformed."

Researchers devised five short videos that they said inoculated people against five manipulation techniques: "emotionally manipulative language, incoherence, false dichotomies, scapegoating and ad hominen attacks."

The paper's authors concluded that the videos "improve manipulation technique recognition" and "increase people's ability to discern trustworthy from untrustworthy content."

"This is one of the few misinformation interventions that I've seen at least that has worked not just across the conspiratorial spectrum but across the political spectrum," Jigsaw head researcher Beth Goldberg was cited as saying by The New York Times.

Google to combat misinfo on Ukrainian refugees

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