Fake News: Why People Believe How It Spreads And What To Do About It – iSchool
From loose tigers to election fraud, news outlets and social media have contributed to the explosive growth of fake news stories and false information in recent years.
But when it becomes increasingly clear that fake news can have very real, very dangerous consequences.
We spoke to Jeff Hemsley, Josh Introne, Bei Yu, and Lu Xiao – both professors here at Syracuse University School of Information Studies – to delve into the nature of fake news and what we can all do to mitigate its effects.
Are you looking for a program to study the impact of information on society? Check out our Bachelor and Master courses at the iSchool.
It is one thing to hear something that is not true. It is another to believe it. It is these Beliefs that lead to actions that can have both positive and negative effects.
Josh Introne, Assistant Professor of Information Studies at iSchool, examines how our belief systems influence the stories and information we accept as true.
His research examines belief Systems Pools of interrelated beliefs that are likely to occur together – within certain populations.
For example, he says that a person who believes the Affordable Care Act is an important step in improving health care will also support gun control as a means of combating gun violence.
Introns ascribes people’s individual susceptibility to incorrect information to their belief systems and Tribal thinking – a state in which the identity of the group becomes more important than the identity of the individual.
Read the full story: How Our Belief Systems Make Us More Prone To Misinformation
Fake news is not just an online phenomenon. As events like “Pizzagate” and the storming of the US Capitol in 2021 make clear, a popular fake news story can lead to violent actions and fatal consequences.
Jeff Hemsley, Associate Professor of Information Studies at iSchool, argues that many cases of fake news like President Trump’s propaganda are really just propaganda – skewed information published for the political benefit of someone.
And whether it’s a wartime newspaper ad or a seemingly harmless social media post, propaganda is only successful to the extent that it spreads.
“The things that are spreading are remarkable,” he said. “Notable just means that people talk about it. And This is Virality. “
Fake news is spread because it is often inflammatory in some way. That makes it exciting and it’s worth talking about.
“The world can change through viral events,” said Hemsley.
“If the lie turns out to be sexier than the truth, we run the risk of undermining our democracy.”
Read the full article: “When Fake News Turns into Conspiracy Theories: The Viral Factor in Today’s Media Landscape and What We Can Do to Stop It”
Some incorrect information is the result of an honest mistake. Most fake news stories, on the other hand, are produced with the intent to deceive.
That’s the difference between mis-Information (honest) and un-Information (deceptive).
At Yu and Lu Xiao, both Associate Professors of Information Studies at iSchool, they examine persuasion techniques and how they are used to spread cases of disinformation.
Here are a few things you can supposedly do to identify fake news online …
Here they share five techniques they recommend to help you easily see if information is false or designed to be mislead, and how to make sure your own bias doesn’t get in the way when information is not true.
Read the full story: “5 Ways To Spot Misinformation and Disinformation Online”
The spread of fake news and the sheer amount of information we interact with on a daily basis can make it difficult to find out what is true and what is not. In the case of wrong information and above all disinformation, the consequences can be fatal.
Here are a few simple things we can all do to take control of information in our own lives and reduce the effects of fake news in the real world:
When we strive to seek the truth, we commit ourselves to advancing a world based on honesty, transparency and, above all, mutual trust.
Are you looking for a program to study the impact of information on society? Check out our Bachelor and Master programs at iSchool.