The University of Cambridge has released an online game called "Go Viral!" designed to help people recognize the fake news associated with the pandemic COVID-19.
Go Viral players! take on the role of one hacker whose mission is to spread misinformation on Internet on the global health crisis. The online game is designed to help people become familiar with the wide variety of techniques used by cybercriminals to circulate fake news, especially on SOCIAL MEDIA.
Go Viral! released in collaboration with his government United Kingdom and was published last week in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. Its creators hope that the game will make it easier for people to find and ignore information about COVID-19 that does not come from legal and verified sources.
The team that made Go Viral! stated that a user only needs to experience the game only once, to significantly reduce the chances of being deceived by fake news for at least three months.
Dr. Sander van der Linden, project manager, said that users find it difficult to perceive the fake news that appears to them as real news on the Internet.
According to van der Linden, fake news can travel faster and be found more easily than real news. Van der Linden also stressed that controlling the news is vital, but it comes too late with the lies already spreading like the virus.
As users find it difficult to get rid of fake news even when the real truth comes to light, the game's creators have taken a more proactive approach to tackling a growing problem in all forms of media.
Van der Linden stated that the goal of the team that developed Go Viral! is for users to get a taste of the methods used for hearsay fake news both on the internet in general and on social media in particular. This is what social psychologists call it "Vaccination theory".
In about six minutes, they are presented to the players of Go Viral! various news dissemination techniques commonly used by malicious agents. These include the use of emotionally charged language to create anger and fear, references by so-called "experts" and conspiracies for "likes" on social media.