BEST PRACTICE
Disinformation Resources
Disinformation is widening community divisions, increasing partisan echo chambers, increasing distrust of 'others' and fueling of violent extremism.
Disinformation is tearing at our social fabric, and addressing it is not only an urgent challenge, it is essential to win on any issue.

Social impact practitioners must operate in a vastly different information landscape, that has fundamentally altered the way people seek and receive information.

This in turn has upended the traditional patterns and levers that influence the public's opinions: gone are the days a central message is broadcast to homes via a trusted and impartial media organization; here are the days false narratives bounce furiously around an echo chamber with no filter for fact, bias or motive.

This page contains the latest resources to help campaigners operate in this new information ecosystem.
By The Center for Impact Communications
International Business Times
The coronavirus, that we now take seriously enough to address with radical intervention, has a similar effect: cause disruption to our economy and society, and spread fear and mistrust. Digital disinformation aims to do exactly the same — albeit by design, not by random mutation.
Australian Financial Review
There's still no result the day after the presidential election because America lacks Australia's independent electoral commission to make sure all the votes are quickly and fairly counted.
By Others
Center For Climate Change Communication, George Mason University.
The Debunking Handbook 2020 summarises the current state of the science of misinformation and its debunking. It was written by a team of 22 prominent scholars of misinformation and its debunking, and it represents the current consensus on the science of debunking for engaged citizens, policymakers, journalists, and other practitioners.
First Draft News
"Our dashboard offers insights daily for an at-a-glance snapshot on what our investigative research team sees online. We'll provide context and suggest how to proceed with the information for your audiences. Journalists can request access to @FD_Update for more team insights."
Scientifica American
Humans are wired to respond to emotional triggers and share misinformation if it reinforces existing beliefs and prejudices. Designers of the social platforms fervently believed that connection would drive tolerance and counteract hate. They failed to see how technology would not change who we are fundamentally—it could only map onto existing human characteristics.
Graphika
"Secondary Infektion" is the name given to a long-running Russian information operation, encompassing multiple campaigns on social media run by a central entity, which was already active in 2014 and that was still running in early 2020. This report is the first systematic examination of Secondary Infektion's campaigns. It reveals the most comprehensive picture yet of this actor's strategic objectives and tactical priorities across the years.
Emerging Trends in the Behavioral &
Social Sciences
Cognitive psychology investigates why individuals struggle with correcting misinformation and inaccurate beliefs, and why myths are so difficult to dislodge. Two important findings involve (i) various "backfire effects," which arise when refutations ironically reinforce misconceptions, and (ii) the role of worldviews in accentuating the persistence of misinformation. Computer scientists simulate the spread of misinformation through social networks and develop algorithms to automatically detect or neutralize myths. We draw together various research threads to provide guidelines on how to effectively refute misconceptions without risking backfire effects.
First Draft News
The psychology of misinformation — the mental shortcuts, confusions, and illusions that encourage us to believe things that aren't true — can tell us a lot about how to prevent its harmful effects. It's what affects whether corrections work, what we should teach in media literacy courses, and why we're vulnerable to misinformation in the first place. It's also a fascinating insight into the human brain.
Heterodox Academy
People have this idea of people as fundamentally rational. On this account, our profound cognitive abilities are designed to help us discover objective truths about the world through logical argument and empirical observation. Contemporary research in cognitive science, psychology and related fields paints a much different picture.
Psychological Science in the Public Interest
"We first examine the mechanisms by which such misinformation is disseminated in society, both inadvertently and purposely. Misinformation can originate from rumors but also from works of fiction, governments and politicians, and vested interests. Moreover, changes in the media landscape, including the arrival of the Internet, have fundamentally influenced the ways in which information is communicated and misinformation is spread."
Council of Europe
A comprehensive examination of information disorder and its related challenges, such as filter bubbles and echo chambers. Contemporary social technology means we are witnessing: information pollution at a global scale; a complex web of motivations for creating, disseminating and consuming these 'polluted' messages; a myriad of content types and techniques for amplifying content; innumerable platforms hosting and reproducing this content; and breakneck speeds of communication between trusted peers.