Hot News


Header Ads Widget

How fake news influence common people and how to stop it

Misinformation! It's destroying the internet and it's all your fault. Well it's not your fault, it's your brain's fault but I'll explain. The internet is a glorious place, a free platform where anyone can share their point of view except the internet can be kinda terrible because everyone lies, like all the time.


Anyone with a smartphone or Photoshop can just make up their own misinformation and then the rest of us spread it around. Like mono at a frat party Photoshop a picture of a broken voting machine and you can call an entire election into doubt. Put on a lab coat and start talking about microchips in almond milk and suddenly you have health misinformation that can be shared and re-shared on Tik-Tok until millions of people have seen it.

Also Read: Currently this is the only major problem with Youtube

Either way, even if you're very online and think you know better, the bad news is your brain is kind of hardwired to believe it. Add some basic Wikipedia research and some science words and suddenly you have a piece of misinformation that can spread like wildfire. But it's not just influences on Tik-Tok, videos edited to make politicians look drunk, content farms building entire fake news websites to sway elections, viral tweets, doctored photos this stuff is everywhere and it's becoming a big problem.

So why do we believe this junk?

Well just like they told me when I tried to audition for jeopardy it's your brain letting you down. Let me explain it with psychology.

One: You're more likely to believe the first thing you hear. First impressions of a situation can be pretty hard to shake.

Two: The Illusory TR (the illusory truth effect). The more something's repeated, the more likely you are to believe it even if it's false.

Three: Anytime we're overwhelmed by information, we're less likely to believe experts and more likely to believe people like us even if those people are telling us that the aliens built the pyramids.

Four: Confirmation Bias; Something that aligns to our values or political ideology, well we're more likely to believe it and then there are emotions. I'm talking about your emotional response to misinformation if you see a tweet or a news headline that makes you really angry.

Well you're more likely to throw your analytical brain right out the window and all of these things add up to make us really prone to the misinformation that we see online. So if even the best of us can fall victim to this kind of stuff.

How do we spot misinformation and stop it from spreading?

I have bad news, the tech companies aren't going to do it all. Here are five takeaways,

Insta Fake News

First: Just because you see it online doesn't make it true. Misinformation is used to sew political discord to make money or even get clout so be sceptical.

Two: Take a breath, this information is designed to get us emotionally reactive so we share it quickly so make sure you stop and think.

Three: Verify your source, make sure you actually click on the link on that social post and then look at the URL of the website you're on. Look for things like quotes and links out to other reliable news sources on the news websites you visit and make sure you don't get your news from whatsapp.

Four: Do a reverse image search on Google. This is a great way to check when and where a photograph was taken. Misinformation often uses real images but taken completely out of context.

Five: If you can't verify something, then don't share it or if you want to debunk it then make sure you don't just Retweet or repost the link that could just build engagement and feed the algorithm which boosts the misinformation even more.

Also Read: Are New Electric Car Companies fooling the Customers?

With everything that's going on in the world right now, the stakes for stopping misinformation have never been higher but we can all play our part. Thanks for reading and do share this informative post with your friends and family as well.

Post a Comment