Doublethink Lab
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Doublethink Lab

A One-Stop Disinformation Resource Website — Escape the Mist: Disinfo Walkthrough

Social Engagement Team

Have you wanted a one-stop disinformation website which contains the tools and research to help you fact-check the information you read, or provide you with strategies to counter propaganda and conspiracy theories?

We have created just the website — Escape the Mist: Disinfo Walkthrough.

Disinformation and conspiracy theories are increasingly becoming a challenge for our digital society, as it becomes more difficult for people to discern between fact and fiction. Fortunately, over the last few years, more and more tools and methodologies are being developed to help people make that decision. Still, not many people have the time to use the tools to analyze what they read online.

5-min Animation for Disinformation Walkthrough

Highlighted Features

In the workshops Doublethink Lab conducted with Innovation for Change — East Asia, our trainers and participants share that there is an abundance of resources online, but there is not one singular platform where all the information can be accessed.

Doublethink has therefore decided to step in to create such a website.

Below, we list out some of the features that you might find useful.

1. Checklist to Identify Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theory Checklist

One of the unique features of this Disinfo website is a conspiracy theory checklist that we developed with Kent University Associate Lecturer Michael Biddlestone. Conspiracy beliefs have negative impacts. Not only does it allow misinformation to spread, it also results in social exclusion and political apathy.

As such, Doublethink Lab wanted to create a checklist to help people assess whether something they read online is likely to be a conspiracy theory. To develop the checklist, Biddlestone looked through various research analyzing the key characteristics of conspiracies and the underlying basis as to why people are drawn to them.

For example, conspiracy theories are usually structured to appeal to people’s psychological needs, such as their anxieties or biases, and in their framings, might blame certain events on outgroups or other individuals, but these can result in social tensions. This website therefore also consolidates the key findings about conspiracy theories to help people make more informed decisions of what they read.

Access this page here: Conspiracy Theory Checklist

2. Fact Checking Tutorial by First Draft

Doublethink Lab also collaborated with First Draft to create a series of videos to share with users the background and techniques to fact checking. First Draft is an international fact check organization that works to empower people with knowledge, understanding, and tools to build resilience against harmful, false, and misleading information.

7 types of mis- /dis- information

In order to conduct effective fact checking, it is necessary for individuals to understand the different types of mis-/dis- information. Importantly, we need to use precise language to describe what we’re facing, so that we can more accurately determine how to fight back against them. For example, do you know that misinformation is different from disinformation? Learn more about this and the seven most common types of mis- /dis- information in the video by Stevie Zhang, research reporter of First Draft’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) bureau.

How To Start Fact Checking

We also need to have knowledge of the tools and steps to conduct effective fact checking. To do so, Esther Chan, Bureau Editor of First Draft, created a video to take viewers through the process of how to assess whether an information viewed online is accurately depicted, and the tools we can use to debunk them, such as the InVID video verification tool.

How To Build Trust With Fact Check

Fact checking is also a process of building trust. As Anne Kruger, the Director of First Draft APAC, pointed out in her interview, fact checking is about appealing to a source’s credibility and about debunks. However, some might find this approach less effective, especially when they feel hesitant about fact check initiatives. Check the video for more details on pre-bunk and how to build trust by fact checking.

3. Strategies to Counter Disinformation

Finally, Doublethink has been developing various psychosocial research that helps us better understand the consumers of disinformation. Why is this important?

For example, a research we conducted enabled us to identify four personality types more susceptible to disinformation messages. By understanding the characteristics of these profiles and what makes them more vulnerable, we are then better able to develop targeted counter measures to each of these profile types.

In developing the persuasion strategies, we also conducted role-playing workshops to allow stakeholders to try out using the persuasion techniques to convince someone else from falling for disinformation.

We have introduced these methodologies at our capacity building trainings with regional partners, some of whom have adapted these methods to study their own local settings. We hope that by making these methodologies open source for the public, more people would be able to benefit from them, and to strengthen social resilience in coping against disinformation. Moreover, the tools we developed are fun to use!

Access this page here: Call to action for NGOs: Counter-narrative Development

Developing a Multi-Dimensional Perspective to Addressing Disinformation

This website is a collaborative effort between Doublethink Lab, and experts and organizations from over 10 countries. Each of the collaborators adopt different approaches to tackle disinformation, and we thought that by bringing together the various perspectives, it will not only enrich the conversation, but also provide multi-dimensional methods to understand this phenomenon.

This website has therefore been designed to help people understand disinformation from four different angles: the disinformation ecosystem, the consumers of disinformation, the narrative structure of disinformation, and countermeasures against disinformation. We hope that by illustrating to the public the network that disinformation travels along, we will identify the points at which disinformation can be tackled. As such, having an understanding of the factors that result in people being susceptible to disinformation, and how narratives are designed to appeal to readers, will allow us to develop effective counter responses to weaken disinformation campaigns.

This website is aimed at beginners who would like to have a one-stop portal that allows them to access knowledge about the most important topics regarding disinformation. It also provides reading and teaching materials for experienced workers at the frontline combating disinformation. The website also incorporates interactive and visual elements, such as a checklist, videos and infographics, so that it would be more fun for the casual user to navigate.

So, have fun browsing through the website, and we hope that it will be handy in your journey to counter disinformation! Also, feel free to share this website with your family and friends, because sharing is caring!

You can visit our website here:

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