How Fake News Spreads

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chansen

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http://www.cbc.ca/radio/spark/339-f...ore-1.3894283/how-fake-news-spreads-1.3895022

The new word I learned from this piece is "micropropaganda". That word captures what fake news really is quite brilliantly.

The other point they made that resonates with me is that people believe what they want to believe. We see that here at WC2. Colbert warned about "truthiness" years ago, and we all laughed. But damn, people will literally ignore the truth in front of them for the lie they admire. It's nauseating.
 

Neo

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We seem to be living in a world of gross sensationalism where fake news is simply more interesting that real news.
 

ChemGal

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I wish individuals cared more about what they are sharing. Too many people seem to think it's no big deal. It's much more than just fake news. It also goes beyond social media, although that's a fast way of getting it across. Teachers throughout school were pretty bad for spreading misinformation.
The fake stuff can have harmful consequences. Maybe someone sharing information can spend $1000s on a fake treatment or something, but it doesn't mean the others who see it and believe it have that money to burn as well.
 

chansen

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That's a good point. People who share fake news and then find out its fake, often just wash their hands of it like it's no big deal. So the truth is not only avoided, but devalued because it's not what they want to be true. And increasingly, people accept this. People are allowing others to have their "own truths".
 

chansen

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But this is much more immediate, pervasive, and in many cases demonstrably wrong. Fake news makes it all over Facebook, email, and sites lIke WC2. Gullible people who want to believe something will immediately share a questionable news piece they think should be true. The stories are being written for the purpose of being distributed and gaining clicks and likes on social media. People are profiting from it not only by influencing elections in their favour, but monetarily as well. There is cash to be made in fake news. This isn't gossip.
 
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I like that they chose to call alternate media fake news. Especially when they do it with a straight face. So Monty Python.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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But this is much more immediate, pervasive, and in many cases demonstrably wrong. Fake news makes it all over Facebook, email, and sites lIke WC2. Gullible people who want to believe something will immediately share a questionable news piece they think should be true. The stories are being written for the purpose of being distributed and gaining clicks and likes on social media. People are profiting from it not only by influencing elections in their favour, but monetarily as well. There is cash to be made in fake news. This isn't gossip.
Well, gossip is the attitude behind it. The spread now is much larger because of social media. It used to be tabloids and advertising. There's always been people advertising the "wonder pill " to cure cancer or loose weight and media spreading questionable information. I have learned in school to analyse advertising and question information- I don't think my son got an education equivalent to that. German TV still tends to aim at informing people, I never had the same impression from Canadian TV. The trend is to entertain. In fact, todays uncertain times seem to make people react more emotional. Put a teary story online and you can get enough donations to pay off your mortgage. People don't check facts.
And with regards to influencing elections: How much percentage of people do you think really think through who they vote for and make an informed decision? How many vote what they or their parents always voted for, or their husbands, or because the guy showed up at the door and shook hands.... , or has a nice slogan ...
The importance of making the right choice will b obvious once people realize the loss of their democratic rights, as it is happening in Turkey.
 
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But this is much more immediate, pervasive, and in many cases demonstrably wrong. Fake news makes it all over Facebook, email, and sites lIke WC2. Gullible people who want to believe something will immediately share a questionable news piece they think should be true. The stories are being written for the purpose of being distributed and gaining clicks and likes on social media. People are profiting from it not only by influencing elections in their favour, but monetarily as well. There is cash to be made in fake news. This isn't gossip.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordans...-news-scare-is-itself-fake-news/#44df2ee996cc

It covers a few things, like advertising, satire, well intended professional pieces that were not fact checked well enough or are too biased, and straight up false with malicious, nefarious intent to brainwash...it's the latter we ought to be most concerned about, imo.

People fall for fake news all the time. I just bought a collegen facial serum that promised to erase lines off my face. The photos on the package looked too good to be true. And they were! Turned my face bright red. That'll teach me. Along with the other crap in the bathroom that didn't work.

This article also talks about Facebook setting up a system for community flagging of fake news...uh, yeah ... Good idea.(n)
 
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chansen

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Collagen is in the structure of your skin and new collagen topically applied does not get woven into that structure. My wife explained that spreading collagen on your skin thinking it will erase lines is like reinforcing a building by sprinkling steel beams on it. But hey - if skin is collagen, then add collagen!

But that's not micropropaganda, that's just marketing to people who don't understand, which is 99% of the population.
 
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I realized it was almost most certainly too good to be true - but I wanted to believe it could work. That's the reason people buy 99.9% of the cosmetic creams and lotions sold in stores. Realistically, the cheap stuff is not going to work any better or worse than the expensive stuff. There are no creams or potions that will reverse aging - but we keep buying the crap. That's my point. Critical thought and experience has taught us with every dollar down the drain. We know better but we buy it anyway.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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I amsure there are studies done on how people tend to adopt opinions and behaviour, because " everybody else " does/ believes it, too. I didn't experience that " thinking critical" or " being different" is part of the broad Canadian parenting goals. Canadians tend to be nice. That means to be inclusive, yes, but it also has a tendency of swimming with the stream.
 

chansen

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There's also the growing opinion that because the "mainstream media" are often biased, that justifies the blatant lies masquerading as news. It's an escalation in the war for hearts and minds. And we're losing many of those minds to people who want to manipulate instead of inform. We see how people actually value and defend demonstrable lies because the lies reinforce what they want to be true. We've even been seeing it at WC for years. We're part of the distribution network. Almost every website that allows user content is.
 
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Censorship is not the answer either. You have to be able to say "that's bulls**t" - call it bulls**t, and move on. In other words, think for yourself.

This is against the alt-right movement, and people like Alex Jones - people with cult like followings who have recruited armies of trolls spreading misinformation on purpose. He even calls his site/ show "infowars" ironically. But I don't understand how anyone can watch/ listen to it and not realize he is an actor. The problem is people took him seriously and it went to his head. What there is, is an education problem.
 
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ChemGal

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I think some of the most dangerous sources are when it comes from places that are generally seen as trustworthy - mainstream media. I see them share quite a few stories with misinformation although they are often different than those sites whose purpose is to come up with fake stories.
 

Mendalla

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I think some of the most dangerous sources are when it comes from places that are generally seen as trustworthy - mainstream media. I see them share quite a few stories with misinformation although they are often different than those sites whose purpose is to come up with fake stories.
Fact-checking seems to have fallen by the wayside as media outlets rush to keep up with, or ahead of, social media and "citizen journalism". Which is too bad because that should be what differentiates traditional media from social media: the presence of editorial staff to ensure things like fact checking happen. Proofreading is getting worse, too, and I've seen some terrible typos make it into print on even the CBC website. I've seen factual errors in the news that a couple minutes on Snopes or an email to someone who knows what they are talking about (e.g. a scientist for science stories) would have rectified. I think the TV news channels (Hi, Fox, MSNBC, and CNN) are worse than print media in that way but the latter are not immune. I've had alerts come up from sources like the Globe that later had to be corrected.
 

ChemGal

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Sometimes too they just seem to offer a platform to whoever wants it. So many segments with those pushing pseudoscience. How often is there a session with a nutritionist rather than a dietician? Rarely is there someone to balance out the crap they spew.
 

Mendalla

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Sometimes too they just seem to offer a platform to whoever wants it. So many segments with those pushing pseudoscience. How often is there a session with a nutritionist rather than a dietician? Rarely is there someone to balance out the crap they spew.
The problem is that no one seems to want balance any more. "I'm right and they're wrong and that's what the media should report" seems to be what certain segments of the audience are clamouring for. One-sided reporting is getting eyeballs so outlets do it. Science journalism is suffering horribly from it in the mainstream media, though the major science pubs like Scientific American and Discover are trying to get the facts out there.
 
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