“Debunking Handbook 2020”

on behalf of our lead authors, Stephen Lewandowsky, John Cook, and Ullrich Eckert and other handbook coauthors:

Yesterday, 22 leading researchers of misinformation who have joined forces released The Debunking Handbook 2020. This handbook summarizes the insights from decades of research into countering misinformation, offering a variety of strategies for preemptive interventions and corrections.

According to Lewandowsky, “The handbook is a consensus document that was created by an innovative process that involved a series of predefined steps, all of which were followed and documented and are publicly available. The authors were invited based on their scientific status in the field, and they all agreed on all points made in the handbook. We therefore believe that the new Handbook reflects the scientific consensus about how to combat misinformation.”

This is an update to the Debunking Handbook released in 2011. What’s new from the original handbook is that in the last 10 years, we have a better understanding – due to more evidence – of how to prevent misinformation from taking root in the first place and best practices to debunk misinformation that’s already circulating. For instance, we know how important media literacy initiatives are in preventing misinformation. We also know that some concerns that were previously raised in the original handbook, such as the backfire effect – where a correction can actually make someone believe in the false information even more strongly – is not a common phenomenon. A decade of research has shown this occurs infrequently.

The new handbook can be freely downloaded here: http://sks.to/db2020.

 

The handbook is a consensus document that was created by an innovative process that involved a series of predefined steps, all of which were followed and documented and are publicly available. The authors were invited based on their scientific status in the field, and they all agreed on all points made in the handbook. We therefore believe that the new Handbook reflects the scientific consensus about how to combat misinformation. Read more about the consensus process.

The Debunking Handbook 2020 is an update to the original Debunking Handbook published in 2011.


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