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Rand – Stop the Spread of False and Misleading Information During Voting Season by Alice Huguet, Julia H. Kaufman, Melissa Kay Diliberti – “In a healthy democracy, having accurate information is crucial for making informed decisions about voting and civic engagement. False and misleading information can lead to knowledge that is inaccurate, incomplete, or manipulated. Such knowledge can erode trust in democratic institutions and contribute to divisions within society. And, on a personal level, it can be harder to have conversations with friends, family, and neighbors when you do not share the same facts. Research shows that older generations are well represented online but are not as confident in their technological know-how as are younger users. They are less likely to recognize and prevent the flow of misinformation, which can exacerbate divisions between groups and contribute to polarization. These issues are particularly important given that older generations are more likely than younger people to vote, and, thus, their skills in identifying false and misleading information can affect democratic processes. Fortunately, the ability to identify and resist false and misleading information is not static, because this ability relies on skills that can be learned. However, many of the tools that help individuals identify false and misleading information are designed for students in school. More interventions tailored to the needs and preferences of older U.S. residents are needed to help them stop the spread of false and misleading information. For these reasons, we developed this tool and three brief informational videos with people aged 55 years and older in mind. However, if you are interested in practical strategies for combating the challenges of false and misleading information — regardless of age — this tool is for you. This tool and its accompanying videos walk through three strategies:

  1. reading across sources rather than readily believing information from a single source
  2. resisting emotional manipulation that can lead to sharing and believing information that you otherwise might not agree with
  3. taking personal responsibility to stop the spread of false and misleading information…”

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