False information–misinformation–is difficult to contain, let alone reverse, due to the advancement in digital technology and the reduction of gatekeepers from news sources. When you find misinformation within hot topics, such as GM foods and organisms or animal agriculture, human dimensions (e.g., attitudes and beliefs) play a major role in the acceptance of information–accurate or not.
There is no one way to correct misinformation. Instead, you will need to personalize your strategy based on your goal, the misinformation, the audience you are targeting, etc., otherwise, your method could backfire.
But that is a long, complex discussion that will take more than a blog post to discuss. So, let’s talk about some recommendations based on a comprehensive review of social science research that can help us avoid and correct misinformation when we are communicating with an audience on charged issues.
Note: This blog post is based off an article written by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, scholars who study misinformation and misperception in political communication. Their article summarizes social science findings on media misinformation and misperception. While their report is comprehensive, it should be noted that this is one of many publications focused on communicating controversial/political topics and that there is much more to learn about correcting misinformation and misperceptions.
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