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Reflecting Ireland: Tips to protect against misinformation

18 July 2023

Our latest Reflecting Ireland research shows 84% of us feel it is vital that we protect ourselves against misinformation, and 69% fear this is becoming harder with rapid developments in technology and artificial intelligence. Protect yourself against the harm caused by misinformation and disinformation by following these behavioural science based hints and tips.

Protect yourself against misinformation and disinformation

Stop, think, check

  1. Visit for the latest advice, articles and updates from the Be Media Smart team. The site provides a list of helpful tips and resources including fact-checking websites and ‘debunked’ stories proven to be false.
  2. If in doubt, check it out! Dedicated fact-checking websites include in Ireland, and the international

Spot the techniques of manipulation

The stories may change, but research shows the techniques behind misinformation and disinformation remain consistent. Use this framework as a checklist to help you spot the signs.

The DEPICT manipulation framework (*):

  1. Discrediting: Attacking critics
  2. Emotion: Playing on emotions
  3. Polarisation: Driving a wedge between groups, stirring up feelings of ‘them’ vs. ‘us’
  4. Impersonation: Impersonating an individual, a social media account or an organisation
  5. Conspiracy: Creating or tapping into conspiracy theories
  6. Trolling: Posting or commenting online to deliberately provoke or offend

Stop the spread

Misinformation and disinformation are only powerful when passed on. If in doubt about whether a story is genuine or if you think it is overly biased, don’t share it!


  1. (*) Van der Linden, S., 2023. Foolproof: Why We Fall for Misinformation and How to Build Immunity. Harper Collins, 2023.

The content of this blog does not constitute advice and is for general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice before relying on anything stated in the blog. Some of the links above bring you to external websites. Your use of an external website is subject to the terms of that site.

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