On fake news

Just clipping a couple things that caught my eye on this recently:

Why do people fall for fake news?

Much of the debate among researchers falls into two opposing camps. One group claims that our ability to reason is hijacked by our partisan convictions: that is, we’re prone to rationalization. The other group — to which the two of us belong — claims that the problem is that we often fail to exercise our critical faculties: that is, we’re mentally lazy.

And from Nieman Lab:

Building on a draft paper from last year, psychologists Gordon Pennycook and David Rand have a new study showing that people across the political spectrum rate mainstream news sources as more trustworthy than hyperpartisan and fake news sites — and that “politically balanced layperson ratings were strongly correlated with ratings provided by professional fact-checkers.”

And the sites fact checkers trust:

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 12.17.04 PM

And (from Nieman also):

I know that you’re right, but I don’t care. What do people do when their favored presidential candidate gets fact-checked? They do not change their minds, according to a new study in Political Behavior from Brendan Nyhan, Ethan Porter, Jason Reifler, and Thomas Wood. They conducted two studies of voters during the 2016 election, fact-checking Trump’s claims about crime and unemployment. They found that “people express more factually accurate beliefs after exposure to factchecks. These effects hold even when factchecks target their preferred candidate.” But “we find no evidence that changes in factual beliefs in a claim made by a candidate affect voter preferences during a presidential election.”

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