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US government funds research on correcting “false beliefs” online

Another way the government finds ways to alter online discourse.

The US government is funding research on how to fight online “misinformation” by correcting “false beliefs.” The funding is in partnership with fact-checkers.

On July 7, 2021, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a project titled, “How False Beliefs Form and How to Correct Them.”

The NSF allocated $444,345 to Lisa Fazio, an Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. Since then, the total amount granted to the researcher has reached $506,478, as was first surfaced by a War Room report.

Published on NSF’s website is the grant’s purpose, which states: “There is currently an urgent need to understand the real-world effects of misinformation on people’s beliefs and how to best correct false beliefs.

“Through a series of laboratory and naturalistic experiments, the project team is examining the effects of repetition on belief in real-world settings and how to more effectively counteract misinformation.

“By examining these basic psychological processes in the primary domain within which they affect daily life – misinformation on social media – this work will have implications for real-world practices aimed at reducing the impact of misinformation.”

The idea is for the research to “inform real-world practices aimed at reducing the impact of misinformation.” The NSF claims that “fact-checking practitioners are consulted to help guide the research, and results will be discussed with them.” However, it does not name the fact-checkers, many of which have already built up notoriety for the often biased way they apply fact-checks.

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