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Calling out political furphies works, in Australia at least



In an article published in the Royal Society Open Science, the team analyzed the responses of 370 Australians to a series of statements made by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten.

Some were true, some were not. Subsequently, the participants were shown factual controls of those statements.

Researchers found that "strongly reduced" corrections believed in what they called "myths" on both sides of the political spectrum. That is, the voters were willing to accept that they had swallowed a fib.

They also found that support declined for politicians who had been discovered to tell "myths" ̵

1; but only if they had talked about it enough.

The participants had to be given a report of four false claims to a statement of fact before they changed their opinion on a politician.

These results contrasted sharply with a follow-up study in the United States.

  The paper analyzed people's responses to the statements since then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten.

The paper analyzed people's responses to the statements of then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten. Credit: Andrew Meares

There, even when voters were presented with statements by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders who were the "myth" of 80%, their feelings for them "changed" .

RMIT Gordon Farrer, chief academic investigator at ABC Fact, said that Australia's mandatory voting system and the highly partisan nature of US policy were probably factors in those discoveries.

"The trick is to get people out to vote, and to do that, people often say wild and misleading things," he said.

Mr. Farrer said that Australian politicians are still guilty of facts, drives and disinformation, but that those who have succeeded are "at the center".

Professor RMIT and L & # 39; former journalist with The Age said that the results of the work are encouraging, since they came in the middle of a "big debate" on the fact that fact-checking it was effective.

This is because a group of research had found most people came to positions "based more on emotion and feeling" than on the fact.

While Farrer said that fact control units had been made necessary by the rise of social media, more effort was needed to combat false claims that could now easily enter the public sphere.

"The best thing you can do to deal with the issue of false news, misinformation, alternative facts, post-truth, all that sort of thing, is not trying to correct misinformation after it's out in the audience," he said .

"It is to prevent him from going out there, but also to give people the tools to deal with such information."

This is why he contributed to -up RMIT's new argument on the ability to verify and verify facts. Launched next year, the university is promoting the course as the first of its kind in Australia.

Despite the discoveries that were a little encouraging for truth-loving Australians, the document ended in a sober act.

That is, the participants in the study could not avoid fact-checks.

"In reality, some people may not encounter any fact-checks," reads the document.

And both the newspaper and Mr. Farrer warned that people could eventually forget

But the future of liberal democracy depended on overcoming our "epistemological crisis".

"Politics run the risk of collapsing if people are unable or willing to make determinations based on factual information," said Farrer.

"We no longer know what is true and will become increasingly difficult."

Joe Hinchliffe reports the latest news for The Age.

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