Developing effective interventions to counter misinformation is an urgent goal, but it also presents conceptual, empirical, and practical difficulties. A new journal article in European Psychologist, co-authored by Jon Roozenbeek from the University of Cambridge and EDMO researchers Eileen Culloty and Jane Suiter reviews over 170 published papers to provide insight on the effectiveness of various misinformation interventions.
The article, “Countering Misinformation: Evidence, Knowledge Gaps, and Implications of Current Interventions” provides researchers and policymakers with an overview of which individual-level interventions are likely to have an influence on the spread of susceptibility to, or impact of misinformation.
The article discusses evidence behind four categories of anti-misinformation interventions that take place at the individual level: boosting, nudging, debunking, and automated content labelling. Solutions that are effective today may work less well tomorrow, and actors who seek to spread misinformation deliberately also adapt to a changing environment so the research findings suggest a comprehensive approach to tackling misinformation based on five actions:
Firstly, maintaining accountability and transparency on the part of tech companies and regulatory agencies in terms of how interventions are designed and tested. Secondly, improving collaboration between researchers (academic and non-academic) and tech companies not only in terms of data sharing and API access but the whole process of intervention design, efficacy testing, and implementation. Thirdly, ensuring that creating and testing interventions in real-world environments and in non-Western settings becomes more affordable and accessible. Fourthly, developing further insights into how different interventions work alongside each other in the real world. And finally, incorporating both individual-level as well as system-level approaches.