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Google’s Jigsaw project partners with psychologists to stop “misinformation” about Ukraine

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Google’s Jigsaw will begin a campaign to combat “misinformation” about Ukrainian refugees. The campaign will be based on research conducted by psychologists at Bristol and Cambridge universities.

The psychologist conducted their research on several social media sites using 90-second clips to inoculate people against disinformation. In their report, they defined “inoculation theory” as a method to “reduce susceptibility to misinformation by informing people about how they might be misinformed.”

They said that they inoculated users against five types of manipulation: “emotionally manipulative language, incoherence, false dichotomies, scapegoating and ad hominem attacks.” The videos, they concluded, “improve manipulation technique recognition” and “increase people’s ability to discern trustworthy from untrustworthy content.”

Speaking to the New York Times, Jigsaw head researcher Beth Goldberg said: “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.”

The campaign will begin next week, and will be directed towards users in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, which are the major destinations of refugees from Ukraine.

“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 added.

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