TechCrunch: This game uses troll tactics to teach critical thinking. “The best medicine against online disinformation is an informed society that’s thinking critically. The problem is there are no shortcuts to universal education. Enter Finnish Public Broadcasting Company, Yle, which is hoping to harness the engagement power of gamification to accelerate awareness and understanding of troll tactics and help more people spot malicious Internet fakes. It’s put together an online game, called Troll Factory, that lets you play at being, well, a hateful troll. Literally.” The article notes that the game contains offensive and extremist content — because, well, it’s about trolling.
Poynter: Warnings from fact-checkers could discourage people from sharing false Facebook posts, study says. “The misinformation expert Claire Wardle, writing in the current issue of Scientific American, poses (then expertly answers) a key question for people concerned about the current state of the online information ecosystem: Why do people share misinformation, conspiracies and other kinds of misleading content on social media?”
Newswise: Need a Mental Break? Avoid Your Cellphone, Researchers Say . “Using a cellphone to take a break during mentally challenging tasks does not allow the brain to recharge effectively and may result in poorer performance, Rutgers researchers found. The experiment, published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, assigned college undergraduates to solve challenging sets of word puzzles. Halfway through, some were allowed to take breaks using their cellphones. Others took breaks using paper or a computer while some took no break at all.”
The Conversation: Too many people think satirical news is real. “Our team of communication researchers has spent years studying misinformation, satire and social media. Over the last several months, we’ve surveyed Americans’ beliefs about dozens of high-profile political issues. We identified news stories – both true and false – that were being shared widely on social media. We discovered that many of the false stories weren’t the kind that were trying to intentionally deceive their readers; they actually came from satirical sites, and many people seemed to believe them.”
Nieman Lab: Investigative journalism YouTube outlet Point is raising money for a misinformation-themed video game based on real-life stories. “The investigative online journalism startup Point, a London-based investigative journalism startup focusing on technology and internet culture that publishes solely via video investigations on YouTube, is running a Kickstarter to launch Misinformer, ‘a text based, detective-style mobile game that puts the player in the position of citizen journalist who has to crack a major misinformation-based conspiracy before an upcoming election.'”
The Conversation: Pseudoscience is taking over social media – and putting us all at risk. “Search for ‘climate change’ on YouTube and before long you’ll likely find a video that denies it exists. In fact, when it comes to shaping the online conversation around climate change, a new study suggests that deniers and conspiracy theorists might hold an edge over those believing in science. Researchers found evidence that most YouTube videos relating to climate change oppose the scientific consensus that it’s primarily caused by human activities. The study highlights the key role of social media use in the spread of scientific misinformation.”
This is pretty far outside my wheelhouse, but I’ve never read an article like it before. It made me think about things I’d never thought about, in a good way. So I’m sharing. CBC: It’s all in the plans — or is it? How to take a critical look at architectural drawings. “There’s been a lot of opposition to a proposed expansion of the Anglican Cathedral in St. John’s, but the plans have at least one thing going for them, says a retired architect. The graphic, or artist rendering, of the expansion is detailed and realistic, giving residents and decision makers complete picture of what the finished product will bring, says Jim Case. And that’s exactly what people should be looking and asking for from these images, Case said.”