Google is starting a Campaign against Disinformation in some EU Countries

World » EU | August 25, 2022, Thursday // 12:51
Bulgaria: Google is starting a Campaign against Disinformation in some EU Countries @Google

Google subsidiary Jigsaw will launch a campaign next week to tackle misinformation in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic about Ukrainian refugees, based on research by psychologists at two British universities.

Working with Jigsaw, psychologists from the universities of Cambridge and Bristol created 90-second clips designed to "vaccinate" people against harmful content on social networks. The clips, which will appear in ad slots on Google's YouTube as well as other platforms such as Twitter, TikTok and Meta's Facebook, aim to help people recognize emotional manipulation and the scapegoats in a news headline.

"If you tell people what's true and what's false, a lot of people will argue...but what you can predict are the techniques that will be used to spread disinformation, as in the Ukraine crisis," Jon Roozenbeek, lead author of a report on the research behind the campaign, said in an interview.

The study was divided into seven experiments, including a group of Americans over the age of 18 who watched political news on YouTube. Jigsaw exposed some 5.4 million US YouTubers to a vaccination video, with nearly a million watching at least 30 seconds.

The campaign is designed to build resilience to anti-refugee narratives in partnership with local NGOs, fact-checkers, academics and disinformation experts.

The spread of misleading and false information in the United States and Europe through social media networks has led various governments to push for new laws to stop disinformation campaigns.

"We think of this as a pilot experiment, so there's absolutely no reason why this approach can't be applied in other countries," Beth Goldberg, head of research at Jigsaw, said in an interview. "Poland was chosen because it has the most Ukrainian refugees," she said. He added that the Czech Republic and Slovakia would be useful leads for the rest of Europe.

The campaign will last a month.

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