F-L-I-C-C: The most common disinformation tricks of science deniers

--> The download links can be found at the end of the text

For more than a decade, the Australian John Cook has been dealing with disinformation on climate change. In 2007, he founded the science platform SkepticalScience.com, which debunks popular denial myths. We have been working with SkepticalScience.com since our founding. In 2013, John Cook was lead author of the now famous "97 Percent Study", which examined the expert consensus on man-made climate change. In 2016 Cook received his doctorate in cognitive psychology. He currently researches as an assistant professor at the renowned Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) at George Mason University, just outside Washington, DC. He is also the creator of the comic character "Cranky Uncle", a grumpy science denier, and is currently developing a smartphone game of the same name.

But of all his work in this field, Cook once said, the greatest response was to a simple five-letter chain: F-L-I-C-C. With this acronym, Cook first summarized the five most common methods of climate science deniers in 2013. In English, the letters stand for Fake experts, Logical fallacies, Impossible expectations, Cherry-picking and Conspiracy theories. (A detailed history of the acronym can be found here)

A "vaccination" against disinformation campaigns

Disinformation campaigns use these same five tricks time and again ­– not only on climate change, but on many other science-related issues. Within the five categories, further subtypes of tricks can be found, more than twenty of which Cook has now described. Once you have seen through the basic strategies, says Cook, alongside other communication psychologists, you are much less susceptible to further attempts at disinformation – you are basically immunised against their spread.

Together with the team of SkepticalScience.com and Hamburg illustrator Marie-Pascale Gafinen we have developed a large-format info poster, which has found vivid images for the five main methods and 15 further sub-categories:

You can download the infographics here: in pdf format (approx. 1.3MB), in jpg format (approx. 1MB) and in png format (approx. 1MB). It can also be ordered free of charge from our editorial office as a coloured poster in A2 format. Like all klimafakten.de content, the graphic may be distributed and used – provided the source is cited (CC BY-ND 4.0).

A German version of the poster can be found here.

And if you would like more detailed information about the FLICC methods, please click here. On this background page, the SkepticalScience.com team has arranged all the tricks (and even a few more than we put on the poster) alphabetically, explained them in detail – and illustrated each with a practical example.

Meldungen zum Thema