The game’s inventors say they wish to “vaccinate” the public against spreading misinformation and cruel jokes online. In the game, players build an imaginary following by picking inflammatory content to share with imaginary fans. Players are then rewarded for impersonating celebrities and spreading “fake news.”
Describing how the game guides the player through decisions on what to publish, Sander van der Linden of the University of Cambridge Social Decision-Making Laboratory, told the BBC: “These techniques are out there, they are being used by real people.”
The term “fake news“, which gained international fame after its use during the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign, has become widespread, describing any claim or reported event which the speaker deplores. One example is when president-elect, Donald Trump told a CNN reporter “You are fake news” during a press conference.
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Recently, President Trump tweeted that “Any negative polls are fake news.”
The Cambridge team says it will publish its findings on the use of Bad News in the Journal of Risk Research.
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