One approach to building resilience is the so-called “Prebunking”, or rumor control. Internet users should sensitize themselves by being informed about fake news and misinformation before encountering it. For example, conducting such an information campaign before an election, when a surge of fake news for voter manipulation is expected, could prove beneficial.

Prebunking” or “Pre-refuting (of misinformation)” has clearly taken guidance from medical sciences, using the so-called “inoculation method”. Inoculation with real-time information protects individuals from misinformation by teaching them how to recognize and reject it. By exposing them to a “light dosage” of misinformation, the method teaches them to identify and counter false claims that may be disseminated in the future.

Therefore, “prebunking” is a way to teach individuals to identify and resist manipulative messaging before it occurs. Prebunking has demonstrated its efficiency in helping people build their resilience to misinformation, including within the field of politics.

This method focuses on spreading the knowledge about how people most commonly fall prey to manipulation and scams online, instead of directly confronting scammers or telling people what to believe. As such, it may resonate with the wider audience as its tone is generally educational instead of judgmental or accusative. It often focuses on simple techniques, attempting to enhance the capacity of individuals to recognize when they are being manipulated.

Prebunking does not require prior skills or knowledge of a specific subject, making it applicable to various age groups. For example, before an election, when a lot of fake news for voter manipulation is to be expected, it would be worthwhile to carry out such an information campaign.

The positive aspects of prebunking are the proactive handling of constant disinformation, the inclusion of techniques and methods relevant at the time and which may be applied to multiple topics and areas; it does not require existing knowledge or skills, and has an educational, nonjudgmental tone.

What a "Prebunking" message contains
Messages based on the inoculation theory follow a three-part structure:

Emotional warning
Users are alerted to malicious attempts to manipulate them.

Users are exposed to examples of manipulative messaging.

Users are empowered to recognize and dismiss manipulative messaging!