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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi  (Read 39890 times)

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #240 on: June 27, 2019, 05:16:44 pm »
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June 27, 2019

Science Shows Serious Denier Pushback Is Good, But Fun and Games are Better!


On Tuesday, Scientific American ran a great story on debating deniers, covering a couple of new studies that are, to put it mildly, relevant to our interests.

The first study looked at whether it was more effective to rebut denial by addressing the factual errors presented (a topic-based approach) or by addressing the ways in which deniers are deceptive (exposing the techniques they use). It also tested if rebutting the myths actually reinforced them, a concept known as the backfire effect.

The results showed that both topic and technique-based rebuttals reduced the negative impact of anti-vaccine and climate change denial arguments. Neither proved to be significantly more effective than the other, and combining them together doesn’t seem to have a greater effect than either alone. It’s nice to know that climate scientists who provide the facts disproving denial are just as effective as those who expose deniers’ rhetorical techniques and logical fallacies, and that there’s not necessarily a need for any one person to be an expert in both types of rebuttals.

It also found that rebuttals were most effective for the groups who are most susceptible to the misinformation: those who went into the experiment less convinced about the efficacy of vaccines than the average person, and folks with more conservative political beliefs who are more likely to be skeptical of climate science.

The research adds to the now relatively robust body of evidence suggesting that the backfire effect isn’t a particularly pressing problem--in other words, rebuttals were more effective than letting the denial argument go unchallenged. The study also suggests that when deniers are invited to an event it’s always best to have someone show up to debunk deniers, but those who protest debates with deniers are doing good if it leads to the events’ cancellation, because then no one is misled in the first place.

The most effective way of battling denial, of course, is preventing people from being deceived in the first place. A growing body of research known as the “inoculation theory” proposes exposing people to weak versions of denial in order to educate them on how misinformation is created and spread so that they are more resistant to it when it appears in the wild.

The second new study focuses on what the first calls a technique-rebuttal approach, and seeks to find a “broad-spectrum vaccine” that works just as well against climate denial as it does for anti-vaccine rhetoric or any other sort of fake news.

The study takes a novel approach: a game. Researchers designed a Fake News Game, in which players “take on the role of a fake news creator” with a goal of attracting “as many followers as possible while also maximising credibility.” Through six scenarios in which players are offered a “choose your own adventure” set of options, they learn about the strategies used to spread misinformation in pursuit of becoming a Titan of Fake News (Rupert Murdoch, basically).

The game captures the sorts of fake news strategies we see all the time, from impersonation (see: NIPCC) to emotional content and polarization to conspiracy theories and attacking opponents on personal grounds.

read more:

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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