如何最有效地打擊陰謀論

如何最有效地打擊陰謀論
當時間不確定時,人們會被陰謀論社區所吸引。
M.Moira / Shutterstock.com

In the era of social media, conspiracy theories feel more prominent and prevalent than ever before.在社交媒體時代,陰謀論比以往任何時候都更加突出和流行。 Most recently, the high level of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with people's desire to make sense of a new reality, spawned a range of new conspiracy theories最近,圍繞COVID-XNUMX大流行的高度不確定性,加上人們對新現實的理解,催生了一系列新的陰謀論 同時加強現有的。 These fuelled the spread of misinformation about the virus, giving succour to這些助長了有關該病毒的錯誤信息的傳播,為 防面具組.

QAnon關注者有 被唐納德·特朗普默許 –誰將陰謀論視為他們的救星。

在我最近的書中, 分裂的力量,我將解釋政治家如何從最激進和最殘酷的立場中受益。 They can capitalise on the claims made by conspiracy theorists, to antagonise certain groups, bolster their identity and, ultimately, convert them into loyal voters.他們可以利用陰謀理論家的主張,與某些團體對抗,增強其身份,最終將他們轉變為忠誠的選民。

研究表明,人們會在時代到來時買進陰謀論 壓力和不確定。 In these situations people tend to make less accurate judgements about the validity of the information they are given.在這些情況下,人們傾向於對所提供信息的有效性做出較不准確的判斷。 But believing in conspiracy theories also makes people feel part of something bigger than themselves, and provides them with a tribe to belong to.但是,相信陰謀論也會使人們感到比自己更大的事情的一部分,並為他們提供屬於的部落。

在我 ,我將討論可以同時解決這兩個問題的潛在解決方案。 In particular, I build on Finland's recent experience of combating the spread of fake news and conspiracy theories by teaching critical thinking in school.我特別借鑒芬蘭最近通過在學校教授批判性思維來打擊假新聞和陰謀理論傳播的經驗。

在他們年輕的時候就得到他們

Lots of governments fund specific agencies to fight for the truth and try and counter the spread of conspiracy theories.許多政府為特定機構提供資金,以爭取真相,並試圖制止陰謀理論的傳播。 The US for example, has the以美國為例, 全球參與中心,它試圖通過尋找社交媒體的來源並在某些情況下發布反消息來操縱社交媒體上的意見。 But the level of information and speed with which it can spread on social media – along with a president who peddles conspiracy theories – has made their mission difficult, to say the least.但是,可以在社交媒體上傳播的信息水平和速度,以及兜售串謀理論的總統,至少可以說使他們的任務變得困難。

What's more, conspiracy theories thrive on distrust of the government.此外,陰謀論因對政府的不信任而興盛。 As a consequence, these official agencies often struggle to contain the spread of fake news.結果,這些官方機構經常難以控制假新聞的傳播。


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芬蘭拿了 截然不同的方法。 After seeing the damage done by the fake news spread in neighbouring Russia, the Finnish government set up a plan to teach critical thinking in secondary school in 2014. It integrated media literacy into the curriculum and got students to exercise their critical thinking when collecting information on a specific topic.在看到假新聞在鄰國俄羅斯傳播造成的損害之後,芬蘭政府於XNUMX年制定了在中學教授批判性思維的計劃。該計劃將媒體素養融入課程中,讓學生在收集有關信息時行使批判性思維。一個特定的主題。 The source is assessed, and so is the content.評估來源,內容也被評估。

Students are also trained to critically evaluate statistics and numbers.還訓練了學生批判性地評估統計數字。 These can be particularly confusing or intimidating to critique – and we naturally tend to give them legitimacy.這些批評可能特別令人困惑或恐嚇-我們自然傾向於賦予他們合法性。 But the Finnish experience proves that giving citizens the confidence to debunk conspiracy theories themselves is more effective than providing them with the right information.但是,芬蘭的經驗證明,讓公民有信心自己去揭穿陰謀論比提供正確的信息更有效。

指出錯誤信息。指出錯誤信息。 泰勒·奧爾森/ Shutterstock

普世價值觀的互補作用

But another challenge is looming – and critical thinking is not enough.但是另一個挑戰迫在眉睫-批判性思維還不夠。 Followers of conspiracy theories, whether they believe in QAnon or that the world is flat, are often drawn to the community element of conspiracy theories.密謀理論的追隨者,無論他們相信QAnon還是相信世界是平坦的,通常都被密謀理論的社區元素所吸引。 They feel like they belong to a select group, which makes them feel unique and special.他們覺得自己屬於一個選定的群體,這使他們感到獨特和特殊。 They believe they have access to exclusive and well-guarded knowledge, which makes them feel distinctive.他們相信自己可以獲得專有且保護良好的知識,這使他們感到與眾不同。

這些想法是 社會認同理論 in psychology research.在心理學研究中。 This is the idea that our perception of ourselves as individuals is driven by the groups we belong to and the identity that they have.這是一種想法,即我們對自己的個人看法是由我們所屬的群體及其身份所驅動的。 A group of conspiracy theorists is attractive because it is seen as holding a superior truth against others – effectively,一群陰謀理論家很有吸引力,因為它們被視為擁有超越他人的優越真理-有效地, 知識高地.

Finnish authorities understood this.芬蘭當局對此理解。 Their secondary school programme also focused on reminding pupils of the important universal values他們的中學課程還側重於提醒學生重要的普遍價值觀 芬蘭社會堅持。 These include fairness, the rule of law, respect for others' differences, openness and freedom.其中包括公平,法治,尊重他人的差異,開放和自由。 Together, these are a powerful lens to exercise their critical thinking – students are called to make sense of information with these values in mind.總之,這些是鍛煉批判性思維的有力鏡頭–要求學生牢記這些價值觀來理解信息。

Ultimately, students are reminded of all the good things about being Finnish and that they already belong to group with a positive identity.最終,讓學生們想到了成為芬蘭人的所有美好事物,他們已經屬於一個具有積極性的群體。 This throws the identity benefits of believing in conspiracy theories into question.這使人們相信相信陰謀論的身份利益。 Plus, their Finnish identity becomes more salient as they question and identify fake news.另外,當他們質疑和識別假新聞時,他們的芬蘭身份變得更加突出。 Critical thinking and countering misinformation is what makes them part of a group they can be proud of.批判性思維和對付錯誤信息的原因使他們成為了他們引以為傲的一群人的一部分。

Of course, this is difficult to measure but the evidence so far suggests Finland's approach is working.當然,這很難衡量,但是迄今為止的證據表明芬蘭的方法正在奏效。 A一種 2019年研究發現 that Finnish pupils are much better at identifying fake news than their US counterparts.芬蘭的學生比美國的學生更能識別假新聞。 But the real benefits will take years to study, not least because Finland's programme only really ramped up in the last couple of years.但是,要想真正獲得收益,還需要花費數年的時間研究,尤其是因為芬蘭的計劃僅在最近幾年才真正擴大。

The spread of conspiracy theories will not be stopped by simply giving younger generations the right training to engage in fact-checking, or collect evidence-based information.僅通過對年輕一代進行正確的事實核查或收集循證信息的正確培訓,就不會阻止陰謀理論的傳播。 The reality of conspiracy theory groups is that they represent fragmented parts of our society – their very existence is made possible by social exclusion.陰謀理論團體的現實是,他們代表了我們社會中分散的部分–社會排斥使他們的存在成為可能。 So we must teach critical thinking alongside ensuring people feel part of a broader community.因此,我們必須在教授批判性思維的同時,確保人們感到自己成為更廣泛社區的一部分。談話

關於作者

吉頓學院組織理論高級講師,社會學研究員Thomas Roulet, 賈吉商學院

本文重新發表 談話 根據知識共享許可。 閱讀 原創文章.

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