A simple list of tips that can be followed to check the accuracy of headlines on social media
(e.g., "Be skeptical of headlines." "False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points." "If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.", &c.)
People exposed to the tips were significantly more skeptical of false news stories.
It's noted in testing that users also became slightly more skeptical of legitimate news stories, but not nearly to the same degree.
This should appear either during the sharing of news articles, or as an intermittent reminder, or public-service-type announcement, from the platform itself to the user to bear the accuracy of headlines in mind.
"Consistent with our first hypothesis [on whether the media literacy intervention reduces belief in false news stories], randomized exposure to the media literacy intervention causes a decrease in the perceived accuracy of false news articles. Results from wave 1 of the US study in Table 1 show a decrease of nearly 0.2 points on a 4-point scale (intent to treat [ITT]: β=−0.196, SE=0.020; P
With the understanding that poor digital media literacy strongly correlates to belief in hoaxes and misinformation, finding a way to dispel falsehoods is critical to bringing users to a shared plane of understanding from which to cooperate. The authors of this study concluded that their findings were "largely encouraging" and that they suggest that, "relatively short, scalable interventions could be effective in fighting misinformation" globally.
Few people are prepared to effectively navigate the online information environment. This global deficit in digital media literacy has been identified as a critical factor explaining widespread belief in online misinformation, leading to changes in education policy and the design of technology plat-forms. However, little rigorous evidence exists documenting the relationship between digital media literacy and people’s ability to distinguish between low- and high-quality news online. This large-scale study evaluates the effectiveness of a real world digital media literacy intervention in both the United States and India. Our largely encouraging results indicate that relatively short, scalable interventions could be effective in fighting misinformation around the world.
Do you think this intervention could have more benefits, unacknowledged drawbacks, or other inaccuracies that we've neglected to mention here?
We always welcome more evidence and rigorous research to back up, debunk, or augment what we know.
If you want to be a part of that effort, we'd love to have your help!Email us