Building resilience to disinformation
In many countries, disinformation about migration is subject to low levels of public knowledge and a resurgence of nationalist sentiment, which is linked to hostility towards migrants. These factors contribute to anti-immigrant disinformation. However, other researchers argue that situational factors (e.g. pausing to consider accuracy) and cognitive factors (e.g. the ability to evaluate information) are more important than prior knowledge or partisan bias. This is important, because it suggests that audience-focused countermeasures may have a significant impact.
There is growing evidence that succinct and repeated corrections can reduce misperceptions. A study of misperceptions about migration found that providing correct information reduced negative attitudes towards migrants, while also increasing factual knowledge.
Students in this end-of-unit project will be tasked with creating a strategy for building resilience to disinformation. The teacher will conduct a web search for a news media story about migration that is in factual and present the class with two activities to combat disinformation.
Divide the class into two groups and assign activity 1 or 2 to each group. Each group will present their final project to the class. Have the students read the section ‘Building societal resilience to disinformation’ in Chapter 8 of the 2022 WMR beforehand. [Note: for larger classes, more than one group may engage in activities 1 and 2]
Activity 1 Debunking
Students will be tasked with creating a debunking strategy in response to the disinformation in the article following the steps outlined in the ‘debunking steps’ figure in the chapter.
Activity 2 Prebunking
Students will be tasked with creating a pre-bunking strategy based on the disinformation in the article. Teams will produce a multi-media output (a flyer, poster, infographic) or a short write up describing what to look out for and how to identify disinformation.
With you group, present your findings in a 5-7-minute oral or visual presentation. Everyone in your group should speak.