This summary of the top 100 tools, techniques, strategies, and resources to combat disinformation is divided into six categories: Education, government, influencers, journalism/media, techniques, and technological solutions.
• Inserting factually accurate information in a stream chat or in place of the removed content. This idea is being similarly accepted by governmental agencies like the Department of Homeland Security. (Lonstein, 2020).
• Teach analytic thinking and actively open-minded thinking are associated with updating beliefs in response to corrections (Martel et al, 2020)
• Help social media users with educational efforts that differentiate between real information and disinformation
• Climate education (Hess and Collins, 2018)
• Digital educational programs for government employees as well as the public at large. (Levush,. 2019)
• Information-based inoculation strategies have been demonstrated to be an effective tool (Cook, 2019; (Shu et al., 2020).
• Educational institutions informing people about news literacy
• Educate young people (Kahne and Bowyer, 2017) Incorporating climate change in to the grade school curriculum and fostering scientific and digital literacy early on.
• Education campaigns that utilize both content and skill development to combat the spread and uptake of disinformation
• Critical reasoning
• Approaches that teach people to think more clearly specifically delineating truth from falsehood
• Misconception-based learning
• Agnotology – the direct study of misinformation – as a teaching tool.
• Educate educators and require a certain degree of disinformation literacy
• Socio-technological solutions which combine technological solutions with cognitive psychology theory.
• Teach science
• Promotion of news literacy
• Supporting independent professional journalism (West, 2017)
• Messaging about disinformation to keep it at the forefront of public consciousness
• Funding efforts to enhance news literacy
• Funding for partnerships between journalists, businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations to encourage news literacy (West, 2017)
• Regulation (command and control) – mandatory restraints that control the way in which the activity is carried on. Rescinding or refusing to grant permits, establishing standards and codes
• Punishments, such as fines or imprisonment
• Influencers can play a key role. Evidence shows that the partisan gap on climate change can be reduced by highlighting the views of elite Republicans who acknowledge the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change (Benegal and Scruggs, 2018).
• Politicians, public figures, organizations, and NGOs have a responsibility to be reliable sources of information and addressing disinformation and misinformation in a timely manner is critical in preventing its uptake (Lewandowsky et al., 2013).
• UNESCO has published a guideline to help journalists combat disinformation (UNESCO, n.d.)
• The news industry must provide high-quality journalism in order to build public trust and correct fake news and disinformation without legitimizing them. (West, 2017)
• The news industry should continue to focus on high-quality journalism that builds trust and attracts greater audiences. (West, 2017)
• Support strong and viable news media that informs citizens about current events and long-term trends. (West, 2017)
• News organizations aggressive fact-checking and calling out fake news and disinformation without legitimizing them (West, 2017)
• Rand research has published a list of tools to combat disinformation. (Rand, n.d.)
• Nonprofit organizations such as Politifact, Factcheck.org, and Snopes educate users about news sites
• A coalition of U.S. groups including UpShift Strategies, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Union of Concerned Scientists have published ways of combating climate disinformation (Meyer, 2021).
• George Washington University’s John Cook has published a report that reviews several initiatives to combat disinformation including inoculation, educational approaches such as misconception-based learning and the interdisciplinary combination of technology and psychology known as technocognition. (Cook, 2019)
• Brooking report on disinformation written by Darrell West, director and vice president of Governance Studies Senior Fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation also offers approaches to combatting fake news and disinformation (West, 2017)
• The French news outlet Le Monde has a “database of more than 600 news sites that have been identified and tagged as ‘satire,’ ‘real,’ [or] ‘fake.’” (Born, 2017)
• Crowdsourcing draws on the expertise of large numbers of readers or viewers to discern possible problems in news coverage, and it can be an effective way to deal with fake news (West, 2017)
• Shorenstein Center has published a report that explores fake news and provides suggestions as well as research pathways going forward (Baum et al, 2017)
• MIT has also developed crowdsourced judgment systems to help overshadow malicious content. They have also published resources to help people counter disinformation. This includes encouraging people to think about accuracy which they call an “accuracy nudge” (Walsh, 2020)
• COM Library has published a list of techniques for identifying fake news. This includes establishing the credentials of the source, determining the objectivity of the information, and comparing the conclusion to other sources of information. They also include a list of other resources (COM Library, n.d.)
• Peer-to-peer counter-propaganda to dispel false stories. (West, 2017)
• Tips to help you detect fake science news. The Conversation (Zimmer, 2021)
• Individuals should follow a diversity of news sources, and be skeptical of what they read and watch (West, 2017)
• Ask who has written this? Where has it been published? Can I find the same information from another source?” ask questions such as: who produced this information, and why? Where was it published? What does it really say? Who is it aimed at? What is it based on? Is there evidence for it, or is this just someone’s opinion? Is it verifiable elsewhere? (Henley, 2020)
• Models for knowledge sharing including (Hanafizan, 2007)
• Share research that helps people to identify and evaluate misleading claims (Cook et al, 2018)
• Disinformation threat modelling that identifies multiple forms of disinformation (e.g. images and video) beyond just text
• Identify bots: look for stock photos, assess the volume of posts per day
• Check for inconsistent translations and a lack of personal information
• Confronting ideologies and biases which prevent refutations from taking effect (Cook, 2019)
• Counter false news with timely, accurate, and civil discourse (West and Stone, 2014)
• Invest in tools that identify fake news
• Use ranking and selection algorithms to reduce how much misinformation is circulating
• Develop systems to fight misleading content, including search engine link removal or additional posts that dispel false information (Lonstein, 2020)
• Large-scale counter-messaging with facts from trusted sources (Lonstein, 2020).
• Blockage or removal of illegal content (Levush, 2019)
• Improve online accountability
• Reduce financial incentives for those who profit from disinformation (West, 2017)
• Multi-factor algorithms (Del Vicario et al, 2016)
• Replace disinformation with verifiable facts (Anderson, Raine and Vogels, 2021)
• Flagging and fact-checking suspected disinformation on social media platforms (West, 2017)
• Deploying resources of this type to neutralize misinformation
• Technocognition is an approach that incorporates principles from behavioral economics, cognitive psychology, and philosophy in the design of information architectures (Lewandowsky et al, 2017)
• Early detection of malicious accounts
• Warning people they may be misinformed
• Fake news detection research using machine learning
• Using K-means and support vector machine approaches
• Combination of AI and human intervention to fact-check (Marsden et al, 2020)
For references and more information on these and other techniques to counter disinformation see “Resources to Counter Disinformation“. See also “Glossary of Disinformation Related Terminology“