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Scientists Develop 'Vaccine' Against Fake News

Well, sort of
by Andrei Medina | Jan 25, 2017
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A team of scientists believe that they have discovered what they consider as a “vaccine” to combat the breakout of fake news and misinformation, which has become rampant in the past couple of months.

According to Live Science, a study conducted by a group from the University of Cambridge has yielded favorable results with the use of an inoculation method or the act of making something weaker.

Through this, they found out that they could easily fight off fake news by stating facts backed up with science followed by a warning that other individuals are out there spreading lies about these facts.

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The preemptive warning gave the participants some sort of resistance to false statements issued after.

Results also show that the method was effective regardless of the participants’ biases or leanings.

“Misinformation can be sticky, spreading and replicating like a virus. The idea is to provide a cognitive repertoire that helps build up resistance to misinformation, so the next time people come across it they are less susceptible,” the study’s lead author, Dr Sander van der Linde said.


The study which was published by the Global Challenges was initially conducted as a disguised experiment where there were over 2,000 participants.

Fake news and online misinformation have recently become a major issue that has forced even social media giant Facebook to roll out new guidelines and methods to address this problem.

Locally, Senators Leila de Lima, Antonio Trillanes IV and Francis Pangilinan have called for a Senate probe on fake news and trolls amid the rising amount of fake news circulating online.

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