Guides to Debunking Misinformation & Conspiracy Theories
On this page, you'll find resources that can help you learn how to effectively debunk misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.
The Debunking Handbook, 2020
Link: The Debunking Handbook
Summary: A short and clear guide to addressing and debunking misinformation in an effective way that does not risk spreading the misinformation further.
Authors: Stephen Lewandowsky (University of Bristol and University of Western Australia); John Cook (George Mason University); Ullrich Ecker (University of Western Australia); Dolores Albarracín (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign); Michelle A. Amazeen (Boston University); Panayiota Kendeou (University of Minnesota); Doug Lombardi (University of Maryland); Eryn J. Newman (The Australian National University); Gordon Pennycook (University of Regina); Ethan Porter (George Washington University); David G. Rand (MIT); David N. Rapp (Northwestern University); Jason Reifler (University of Exeter); Jon Roozenbeek (University of Cambridge); Philipp Schmid (University of Erfurt); Colleen M. Seifert (University of Michigan); Gale M. Sinatra (University of Southern California); Briony Swire-Thompson (Northeastern University, Harvard University); Sander van der Linden (University of Cambridge); Emily K. Vraga (University of Minnesota); Thomas J. Wood (Ohio State University); Maria S. Zaragoza (Kent State University).
The Conspiracy Theory Handbook, 2020
Summary: This resource explains the difference between real conspiracies and conspiracy theories, goes over how to spot and recognize these theories, breaks down the traits of conspiratorial thinking, and provides recommendations for combating these theories.
Authors: Stephen Lewandowsky (University of Bristol and University of Western Australia); John Cook (George Mason University).
The Consensus Handbook, 2018
Link: The Consensus Handbook
Summary: This handbook starts by discussing why the scientific consensus on climate change is important for the public to understand and provides tools for journalists and communicators to relay that consensus to the public as well as how to combat common misinformation tactics used to sow doubt on the science of climate change.
Authors: John Cook (George Mason University); Sander van der Linden (University of Cambridge); Edward Maibach (George Mason University); Stephan Lewandowsky (University of Bristol).
Link: Misinformation Review
Summary: A quick peer-reviewed science platform focused on misinformation.
About: "The HKS Misinformation Review is a new format of peer-reviewed, scholarly publication. Content is produced and “fast-reviewed” by misinformation scientists and scholars, released under open access licensing, and geared towards emphasizing real-world implications. All content is targeted towards a specialized audience of researchers, journalists, fact-checkers, educators, policy makers, and other practitioners working in the information, media, and platform landscape. We review and publish high-quality interdisciplinary research that examines misinformation from different perspectives, from its prevalence and impact to the effectiveness of possible interventions. We currently publish six regular issues per year. We also publish special issues on themes of particular relevance curated by guest editors."
First Draft, “Essential Guides”
Link: First Draft
Summary: These guides help journalists understand and cover “information disorder” and report responsibly on the internet.
About: “In our Essential Guides to reporting on disinformation, we cover news gathering, verification, responsible reporting, online safety, digital ads and more. Each book is intended as a starting point for exploring the challenges of digital journalism in the modern age.”