It’s a global phenomenon. The blossoming of new technologies only serves as a boost. Jokes and false news are increasing more than ever. It’s not just ignorance or evil. There are more factors in this phenomenon. How do social networks prefer “fake news”?
Abbreviations so as not to think
They influence the so-called cognitive abbreviations. For example, they work in the context of the coronavirus. An inexperienced person tends to accept information more easily than valid if they believe it came from a doctor or a virologist.
In other cases what comes into play is what is known in psychology as cognitive prejudice. To mention one of them, we will cite the confirmation bias. We tend to be taken as true statements that reinforce our pre-established beliefs. Because of this, we consider those who question them to be wrong.
There is a different answer in evolutionary psychology. We are a social species. It is for this reason that our brain selects the information that strengthens our bond with the social group. Also at the expense of this supported by an objective reality. This mechanism also works the other way around, it is known as motivated ignorance. The individual does not know anything about a problem as the costs (cognitive, social …) for this knowledge outweigh the benefits. A knowledge that is avoided confronts the ideas of the group in which they live.
The University of Regina in Canada studied these variables. The article is called Paying attention to accuracy can help reduce misinformation online. You made an interesting experiment. They presented news to the volunteer, half of which was false. They were asked to assess the accuracy of the heading and indicate whether they would like to split headings. By and large, people chose to share the news if they politically agreed to their ideas. Besides being classified as accurate.
One of the reasons that can motivate the exchange of incorrect information can be inattentiveness. “The current design of platforms distracts people from considering the accuracy of the information,” suggest the authors.
People often share misinformation because they focus on factors other than its accuracy. For example in matters of a political or identity-related nature.
“Social media could easily take initiatives to counter the spread of misinformation on the Internet,” they add. “Perhaps it might be enough to remind users to verify that the information is correct.” Yes, we have an idea of how social media favors “fake news”. But it never hurts to stop and think about what to say before speaking.