Google subsidiary Jigsaw will launch next week a campaign aimed at tackling misinformation about Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, based on research by psychologists from two UK universities.
Working with Jigsaw, psychologists from the University of Cambridge and Bristol created a 90-second clip of him designed to “vaccine” people from harmful content on social media.
The clip will appear in ad slots on Google’s YouTube video platform, with the aim of making it easier for people to spot emotional manipulation and scapegoating in headlines.
“If you tell people what is true and what is false, a lot of people will argue…but what you can predict is the technology that will be used to spread misinformation, like the Ukrainian crisis. ‘” said John Roosenbeek, in an interview for a report on the research behind the first author campaign. The study spanned seven experiments involving groups of Americans over the age of 18 watching political news on YouTube.
Jigsaw exposed vaccination videos to approximately 5.4 million US YouTubers, with nearly 1 million watching for at least 30 seconds.
The campaign aims to build resilience against anti-refugee narratives by partnering with local NGOs, fact-checkers, academics and disinformation experts.
The spread of misinformation and disinformation in the United States and Europe via social media has led various governments to push for new laws to curb disinformation campaigns.
Beth Goldberg, research director at Jigsaw, said in an interview, “We see this as a pilot experiment, so there’s absolutely no reason why this approach can’t be expanded to other countries. “Poland was chosen because it has the highest number of refugees from Ukraine,” she said, adding that the Czech Republic and Slovakia would be useful guardrails for the rest of Europe.