That seems to be the way of things these days…..we have truth and we have lies and it is up to the individual to ascertain which is which…..and there in lies the problem…..thanx to social media and the media itself have blurred the lines…..
This first story was written in 2020…..but it still helps the understanding….
Many of us are familiar with the quotation, “Repeat a lie often enough and people will eventually come to believe it.”
Not ironically, the adage — often attributed to the infamous Nazi Joseph Goebbels — is true and has been validated by decades of research on what psychology calls the “illusory truth effect.” First described in a 1977 study by Temple University psychologist Dr. Lynn Hasher and her colleagues, the illusory truth effect occurs when repeating a statement increases the belief that it’s true even when the statement is actually false.
Subsequent research has expanded what we know about the illusory truth effect. For example, the effect doesn’t only occur through repetition but can happen through any process that increases familiarity with a statement or the ease by which it’s processed by the brain (what psychologists in this context refer to as a statement’s “fluency”). For example, the perceived truth of written statements can be increased by presenting them in bold, high-contrast fonts or when aphorisms are expressed as a rhyme.
According to a 2010 meta-analytic review of the truth effect (which applies to both true and false statements), while the perceived credibility of a statement’s source increases perceptions of truth as we might expect, the truth effect persists even when sources are thought to be unreliable and especially when the source of the statement is unclear. In other words, while we typically evaluate a statement’s truth based on the trustworthiness of the source, repeated exposure to both information and misinformation increases the sense that it’s true, regardless of the source’s credibility.
The illusory truth effect tends to be strongest when statements are related to a subject about which we believe ourselves to be knowledgeable, and when statements are ambiguous such that they aren’t obviously true or false at first glance. It can also occur with statements (and newspaper headlines) that are framed as questions (e.g. “Is President Obama a Muslim?”), something called the “innuendo effect.”
Now this report on the mass media and its part at spreading the manure….
A recent case rightly illustrates the confounding way truth and lies spread in mass media. On June 15, 2017, The New York Post published this headline: “Breatharian Couple Survives on the Universe’s Energy Instead of Food.” Now, The New York Post is a big paper—the sixth largest, by circulation, in the United States—and it’s an old paper, established in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton. But headlines like this show that even the mainstream media can sometimes stretch the truth, or just ignore it completely.
In skimming the New York Post article, it’s not just the headline, but the whole article is silly. And this was not an April Fool’s joke. The article says “Husband and wife Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello believe that food and water aren’t necessary and humans can be sustained solely by the energy of the universe.” They’ve eaten, we’re told, just three times a week since 2008, and even then only a piece of fruit or vegetable broth. Furthermore, the couple didn’t eat a single thing for three years. Ms. Castello didn’t eat during her first pregnancy, either, because as she declared, “I knew my son would be nourished enough by my love.”
For the record, people can’t survive without nourishment, and we are required to get our nourishment from food. These facts should not be controversial. But the New York Post article presented the story of this so-called Breatharian couple as fact. There wasn’t a word of skepticism, or an iota of fact-checking, or even a hint that this story wasn’t literally true.
Truth and Lies in Mass Media
On a side note….did the AP strike a deal with Nazi Germany for propaganda purposes…..you knew that eventually I was going to interject some history….
Even the Associated Press has its secrets.
A recent report, declassified by the AP itself, discloses information about the news outlet’s coverage of WWII, and the role that Nazi soldiers may have had in it. According to the internal report released Wednesday, the AP made a deal to exchange photos with Nazi soldiers. The photos were run in American newspapers, without crediting their origins. In turn, AP photos were used by Nazi soldiers for Nazi propaganda.
An investigation was open into the long-secret arrangement after German historian Harriet Scharnberg published an article in March of 2016 accusing the AP of Nazi cooperation. Scharnberg’s research pointed out that pictures supplied by the AP were being published in propaganda publications, such as “Der Untermensch” (The Subhuman). Scharnberg also stated that by submitting to “Schriftleitergesetz“ or editors law, the AP relinquished control of the content that they released to German publications. Therefore, the AP’s content fell under instruction not to print any material “calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home.”
Media spreading manure goes back a ways…..
Who do you trust?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”