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We’re NOT easily fooled by fake news

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And the science paper that claimed so has been retracted.

A team from the Shanghai Institute of Technology sought to study whether accuracy made any difference to whether a post goes viral on social media. They cited a concern about “the digital misinformation that threatens our democracy”:

“The paper found that even though individuals may prefer to read and share “quality information”, factors such as “information overload and limited attention” contributed to “a degradation of the market’s discriminative power”. In other words, Qiu and colleagues concluded, quality material and the rate at which it spreads across the internet “reveals a weak correlation”. Low quality material – fake news, complete rubbish – is just as likely to go viral as the good stuff.” Andrew Masterson, “Fake news journal paper revealed as fake news” at Cosmos

Their June 2017 study, retracted by Nature earlier this month, had been quoted widely, due to widespread concern about the risk that “fake news” skews election results…

Intuitively, most of us would expect the researchers’ corrected outcome to be more likely than their original one. False or doubtful information can be exciting. But, once its uncertain status is known, those who continue to disseminate it are classed as unreliable sources. Thus, doubtful news is dropped whereas confirmed news continues to circulate. This would hold as true for social media today as for a company cafeteria in the 1970s. News, “Research showing that fake news easily fools us collapses” at Mind Matters

See also: Your phone knows everything now And in a world where no data is anonymous, yours may be sold to the highest bidder

2 Replies to “We’re NOT easily fooled by fake news

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm: News, I suspect that we need to be even more concerned regarding fake knowledge and linked institutionalised ideological impositions and agendas. Including, collective lockouts by politically motivated swarms of key gatekeepers wielding power in the infosphere — effective censorship. That’s no mere ill-founded conspiracist notion, we are seeing it play out: Wikipedia was just the trial run. When the big players push a common agenda and narrative, they can be collectively, destructively wrong. What we need instead is a shift to warrant and to linked reasonableness and responsibility that consistently abides by duties to truth, right reason, fairness, prudence etc. As advocates of a marginalised paradigm, we have seen how even self-refuting ideologies can grab and hold dominance in the teeth of evidence. The case of Marxism needs to be studied and taught, to give us all sound, hard-bought lessons. 100+ million ghosts agree with me. So do the 800+ million victims of the ongoing abortion holocaust, sustained by the powers, and mounting up at another million per week. The fact that said powers are aggressively promoting confusions about something stamped into our chromosomes: XY vs XX and its biological import, speaks volumes. KF

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    widespread concern about the risk that “fake news” skews election results…

    You mean like Climate Change propaganda?

    It’s more like “widespread reliance on the “fake news” that skews election results…”

    Andrew

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