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Alethic is a practice-as-research thesis concerning mechanisms for consumer behavioural manipulation on social media, and the relationship between fake news and ancient myth.

However, Alethic also takes another form: a series of five short documentaries.

But there is a catch - some of the documentaries are fabricated. Can you decipher the factual from the fictitious?

This site gives an overview of the films, the research foundation, and how you can take part in this brand-new way of researching.

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Ben Warburton is a current PhD researcher at the University of Salford, studying the relationship between fake news, ancient myth, and modern perceptions of truth, via research-by-practice.

With five years of experience working within the television and online media sectors, Ben has a wide variety of projects under his belt: ranging from production assistant on Ian Brown music videos, to short form producer for BBC Music Day, and APC on high-end television dramas Endeavour and Victoria.

In his spare time, Ben enjoys writing and collaborating on scripts, working on VFX for short films, and rum. Katya Zamolodchikova stan.

Twitter: @benwarbs

Instagram: @benwarbs

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If you are considering taking part in the research, take a look at the below information:

Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you decide to take part, you should keep the downloadable information sheet below for reference. In addition, you will be asked to sign a consent form prior to actively participating in the study.


You can withdraw at any time without giving a reason. If you decide to withdraw, you should note that the University of Salford will continue to process the information you have already provided. This will only occur for research purposes and in an anonymised fashion, so that you cannot be identified. You may also request that any and all data stored thus far on your account be erased from our records, in line with GDPR regulation, with just reason.

What do I have to do/what will happen?

All you have to do as participants is watch the films presented, and when prompted, complete a short survey regarding the material. You will be able to do this by accessing the survey application available to download through the QR code presented on the day. Please note: it is a requirement of your participation that you bring a web-enabled mobile device to the screening.

Will I be reimbursed for my time?

You will not be reimbursed through renumeration. We hope that the viewing itself is entertaining, and that participation will be as enjoyable as possible.

Will I be recorded visually/aurally?

No. There are no photos or recordings allowed within the exhibition space.


Are there any risks associated with my participation?

There are no specific risks involved with your participation. All data will be stored securely on two-factor authenticated, encrypted servers within the University buildings, and can only be accessed by the researcher.

What if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you are more than welcome to email the researcher with your questions via

Following this, any issues or complaints should be sent to the research supervisor Dr Eleftheria Kosmidou at

Will my taking part remain confidential?

Any and all data retrieved will be anonymised prior to any and all publication. For your peace of mind, the data collection process is outlined below:


  1. Participants will be approached prior to the screenings via online contact, and presented with an electronic consent packet. This includes:

    1. Invitation to Participate letter

    2. Information on Participation document

    3. Consent to Participation form

    4. Basic Personal Data form

  2. Data collected from the above documentation will be stored and sent electronically to both the participant and researcher, with the latter’s copy being retained on a secure encrypted server.

  3. Further data collected within the research itself will be automatically recorded by the survey used by the participant to complete the study.

  4. Data from the individual’s results will be sent to the encrypted server, and an overview of results emailed to the participant for review.

  5. All individual participant information and data, including personal information, will be anonymous. Each individual participant will be given a research code, known only to the researcher.

  6. A master list to identify participants via their code will be held solely on a password protected and encrypted computer, accessible only by the researcher.

  7. No hard copies of any data collected will exist, to ensure complete security of your information.

What will happen to the results of the research project?

The results from this project will be used to contextualise the PhD research associated with the study and will expectantly provide the researcher with insight into how false information is perceived within social media.


Only the researcher themselves will have full access to records created, with any supervisory or assessing bodies receiving anonymised data.


If the data from this study is requested by another researcher within the institution, all records will be anonymised prior to sending.


Once the research degree has been awarded, all personal data will be destroyed both digitally and physically. Only anonymous data will be stored later than completion of the research.


For more information on the University policy on research privacy, please follow this hyperlink:

Who is organising this research?

The research is being conducted by the researcher within the University of Salford.

Ok, what do I do now?

Your next step is to complete the Consent to Participation and Basic Personal Data documents. From there, please enjoy the exhibition/viewing.

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Register Your Interest:

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