How Did Misinformation Become So Believable?

This world is awash in misinformation and the people lick it all up as fact and true……

The question is just how did this happen?

I blame the availability of social media and the ease that it (misinformation) can spread like a wildfire.

But there are other reasons for the popularity of crap…..

Bad information isn’t new. Propagandists and scam artists have been selling their brand of proverbial snake oil for ages, all to bend people’s thinking to their goals. What’s different today is that the digital world flings information faster and farther than ever before.

Our brains can’t always keep up.

That’s because we often rely on quick estimates to figure out whether something is true. These shortcuts, called heuristics, are often based on very simple patterns (SN: 9/20/14, p. 24). For instance, most information we come across in our daily lives is true. So when forced to guess, we often err on the side of believing.

Other shortcuts exist that encourage information — true or false — to find its way into our minds, research on human psychology shows. We take notice of information that is new, that fires up our emotions, that supports what we already believe and that we hear over and over.

A few simple tricks make fake news stories stick in the brain

Sadly it appears that Repubs fall for bullshit more often than not…..but most Americans cannot spot fake news…..

A new study revealed Monday indicates that 3 in 4 Americans have overinflated views of their ability to spot fake news — and that the worse they are at spotting fake news, the more likely they are to share it, CNN reported.

“The study of surveys involving 8,200 people, which published in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also showed Republicans are more likely to fall for fake news than Democrats are,” reported Ryan Prior. “The team, led by Ben Lyons, a professor of communications at the University of Utah, showed study volunteers headlines presented in the format of how news articles would look if they appeared in a Facebook feed. They were also asked to rate their ability to determine whether stories were true.”

In the surveys, 90 percent of Americans rated themselves proficient at spotting fake news — but most of them weren’t.

Armed with a little knowledge can help one browse through crap and get to the rest of the story….

But will we?

My guess is NO.

We will believe whatever reinforces our erroneous thinking….we choose to not look beyond the manure for the truth.

How sad for a once great country…dumbing down the population is destroying what is left of our country as it was envisioned by the Founders.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


6 thoughts on “How Did Misinformation Become So Believable?

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