Our Experiences with this Project
By Wiro Wink
One of the major goals of our project was to raise awareness about the issue of Misinformation, and we tailored our strategy to different demographics. For middle schoolers we created an education campaign, for the general public we created the pledge for election integrity and managed to get over half the governor candidates to sign it, and for college students, we created three misinformation challenges. The challenges consisted of a misinformation quiz, an observation challenge, and a crossword puzzle. The misinformation quiz was composed of seven definitions and required participants to guess the corresponding word. The goal was to highlight the subtle, yet important differences between the terms. The observation challenge required participants to look at a picture and guess the geographical location it was taken. A lot of misinformation occurs because pictures are taken out of context so this was our way of investigating whether pre-judgements affect people’s ability to fully investigate an image. The third and final challenge was a crossword puzzle made up of 16 terms related to the issues at hand.
As mentioned earlier, our goal was to spread awareness. We decided to incentivize students and faculty to participate in the challenges by offering a chance to win up to $500. If a participant completed all three challenges they had a chance to win $500, $250 for two challenges, and $100 for one challenge. Another strategy we used to spread awareness was a marketing and social media campaign. We printed over 1000 posters, three A-frames, and 75 lawn signs and placed them all over campus in order to promote the competition. We also displayed digital ads on tv’s in the Union and the law school, as well as table tents in the residence halls and Lassonde. Our signs said “Think before you Tweet” and included a QR code that directed students to our website so they could participate in the challenges. Unfortunately, about a week after our launch everyone went on spring break and we were excited to ramp things up again, but then we found out school was being moved online due to the coronavirus. It’s a shame more people didn’t get to enjoy our marketing campaign in person, but we decided to pivot to online promotion. We were lucky enough to work with the University Marketing Team and they promoted our project on the official University of Utah Instagram account. The final push on social media allowed us to reach over 700 total participants, making the challenges a massive success. We would like to thank everyone who participated and we hope that everyone gained some deeper understanding of misinformation and the issues around it.