We’ve all read something one of our friends posted on Facebook that seemed absolutely insane and taken it as fact … for at least a second.
Hopefully, after that initial gasp of incredulity, we step back, use our critical thinking skills, and realize the story came from somewhere like the Onion or the Daily Currant.
Usually, though, satire spreads through Facebook as if it were real news. And a new study claims to know why: It’s because of mistrust in traditional sources.
Yep, it’s the people who prefer to get information from “pages which disseminate controversial information, most often lacking supporting evidence and sometimes contradictory of the official news” who are more likely to unwittingly share false content. And as our friends share it, we start to doubt our original doubt of the story’s veracity, thinking that there’s no way a number of our friends would have fallen for such a hoax.
But they did. Read Slate’s full breakdown of the study here.