We May Be To Blame For Creating And Spreading Fake News

December 11, 2019

© Gennady Kurinov Dreamstime

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“Fake news” and misinformation being spread online has quickly developed into a major problem, and not just in the United States, but globally as well. While most of us are quick to point their finger at partisan news outlets, lax social media rules and automated misinformation purveying bots, it appears we are to blame for the spread of it! Researchers say that it is very common for people, when given credible, legitimate statistics regarding a controversial topic, to misremember that information so that it supports their pre-conceived beliefs and biases. A study used a non-biased and factual news story about a hot-button issue and what they found is depending on the viewpoint of the participant, people actually tended to remember and recall the exact opposite of what the story reported. Moreover, the study also noted that when people then go and spread the misinformation they’ve created, the story and numbers usually drift further and further from reality. Study authors say that people can self-generate their own misinformation. It doesn’t all come from external sources and that they not be doing it purposely, but their own biases can lead them astray. And the problem becomes larger when they share their self-generated misinformation with others.

SOURCE: Study Finds

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