Google will launch an anti-disinformation campaign in some EU countries


Silhouettes of laptop and mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of the YouTube logo in this illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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STOCKHOLM, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Google subsidiary Jigsaw (GOOGL.O) will launch a campaign next week to tackle misinformation about Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, based on research conducted by psychologists from two British universities.

Working with Jigsaw, psychologists from the universities of Cambridge and Bristol have produced 90-second clips designed to ‘inoculate’ people against harmful content on social media.

The clips, which will run in ad slots on Google’s YouTube video platform, aim to help people identify emotional manipulation and scapegoating in a news headline.

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“If you tell people what’s right and wrong, a lot of people will argue…but what you can predict are the techniques that will be used to spread misinformation, like with the Ukraine crisis,” Jon Roozenbeek said. , lead author of a report. on the research behind the campaign, said in an interview.

The research was spread across seven experiments, including with a group of Americans over the age of 18 who watch political news on YouTube. Jigsaw exposed approximately 5.4 million American YouTubers to an inoculation video, nearly 1 million of whom watched for at least 30 seconds.

The campaign is designed to build resilience to anti-refugee narratives, in partnership with local non-governmental organizations, fact checkers, academics and disinformation experts.

The spread of misleading and false information in the United States and Europe through social media has led various governments to push for new laws to stem disinformation campaigns. Read more

“We see this as a pilot experience, so there’s absolutely no reason why this approach can’t be scaled up to other countries,” Beth Goldberg, head of research at Jigsaw, said in an interview.

“Poland was chosen because it has the most Ukrainian refugees,” she said, adding that the Czech Republic and Slovakia would be useful indicators for the rest of Europe.

The campaign will last for a month.

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Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm Editing by Mark Potter

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