Working in communications, we’re all too aware of the pitfalls of ‘myth-busting’ and ‘debunking’. By trying to challenge a piece of misinformation that’s already spread widely, you run the risk of further amplifying it. There’s also evidence that shows that people don’t remember the correction in any kind of coherent way.
‘Prebunking’ is a method that focuses on prevention rather than cure, by ‘inoculating’ people against misinformation by explaining how misleading messages are constructed and shared. First Draft News, a network of journalists with a mission to counter misinformation, have created this excellent guide to Prebunking. They’ve outlined what it is, how you can do it, and useful resources to use – it’s a really good resource.
Also, don’t miss this example of prebunking in action – the Go Viral game, where you step into the role of a covid-19 misinformation spreader on social media
Graphic from the World Health Organisation