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Why is fake news so sticky?
Rumors are stories that people want to believe. Find out more about why rumors are so contagious:
Power of Rumors
Rumor Communities: The Social Dimensions of Internet Political Misperceptions
"Many of the vaccines-cause-autism rumor community’s comments express widely shared political stances and social values such as
distrust of big business, government, and news media.
They also express
solidarity with respected social groups, parents, and the autism community...
the essential appeal of many conspiracy theories is that they speak to deep-rooted beliefs about how the social world works.
The more effectively they embrace those beliefs, the greater their likely staying power
and the greater the risk they will not only survive but potentially spread to broader publics."
The Difficulty of Debunking - people like the stories they like.
To counter a rumor, you need to have a convincing counter-story or narrative that helps people readjust their thinking, without making them feel stupid or gullible. Help them to see how new information shows the old story in a new light.
The science of fake news
The science of fake news - (Science 09 Mar 2018:)
"people tend to remember information, or how they feel about it, while forgetting the context within which they encountered it. Moreover, they are more likely to accept familiar information as true (10). There is thus a risk that repeating false information, even in a fact-checking context, may increase an individual's likelihood of accepting it as true. The evidence on the effectiveness of claim repetition in fact checking is mixed (11)."
The spread of true and false news online
False rumors inspired replies expressing greater surprise, corroborating the novelty hypothesis, and greater disgust. Truth inspired replies that expressed greater sadness, anticipation, joy, and trust (See Fig. 4, D and F). “False news is more novel and that novel information is more likely to be retweeted.”
Summary: Surprise and disgust are stronger activating emotions than sadness and anticipation.