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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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The Debunking Handbook 2020: Downloads and Translations

Posted on 14 October 2020 by John Cook, BaerbelW

DBH2020-EN-ThumbIn November 2011, we published The Debunking Handbook. As the update notice on that page already shows, more research has come in since then and the time had finally come for a complete overhaul of this very popular handbook (it still gets downloaded a couple of thousand times in most months!). The two authors of the original handbook - Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook - got in touch with other researchers who look into how best to counter misinformation and 20 of them signed up as co-authors. The result of their work can now be downloaded as The Debunking Handbook 2020.

The handbook is a consensus document that was created by an innovative process that involved a series of predefined steps, all of which were followed and documented and are publicly available. The authors were invited based on their scientific status in the field, and they all agreed on all points made in the handbook. We therefore believe that the new Handbook reflects the scientific consensus about how to combat misinformation. Read more about the consensus process.

The Handbook distills the most important research findings and current expert advice about debunking misinformation and contains information about these topics available in four excerpts:

Part 1:

  • Misinformation can do damage
  • Where does misinformation come from?
  • Misinformation can be sticky
  • Sticky myths leave other marks

Part 2:

  • Prevent misinformation from sticking if you can
  • Simple steps to greater media literacy
  • The strategic map of debunking
  • Who should debunk?

Part 3:

  • The elusive backfire effects
  • Role of worldview in belief confirmation

Part 4:

  • Debunk often and properly
  • Collective action: Debunking on social media




The Debunking Handbook 2020 has been translated into the following languages which can all be downloaded from the 4C website:





Note to other translators:

If you'd like to translate The Debunking Handbook 2020 into another language or help with a translation currently in progress, please contact us by selecting "Enquiry about translations" from the contact form's dropdown menu. We'll then get in touch with additional information.

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