Personally, I’ve dealt with this several times and most of the time I do not believe what it is saying because there is some sort of fallacy in them. However, I do initially sometimes fall for these fake “news.” The statistics of this research intrigues me a lot especially since the age group is from middle schoolers to college students. I do not have the exact reasons as to these results, but here are some things as to why people take these news with face value.
Technology is one big part of this equation. Back in the day (around 2005) you only got your news from the newspaper, TV, and probably the computer. The sources coming from the newspaper are trustworthy in a sense since they must go through several editors and approvals in order to be published. The TV is also trustworthy too because the channels that broadcasts news are local news channels such as KCAL9 or national channels such CNN or FoxNews. These are government independent channels which are not going to get tainted by government lies or suppression (most of the time). The social media space was just setting up its foundations, and the only news one would get on the computer is the same newspaper sites or news channel that one would find on the TV and the local newspaper.
But now add in the domestication of smart phones and the use of social media, these trustworthy sources of the TV and the newspaper are taking a back seat. Why would someone read a newspaper or turn on the TV, when supposedly there is “news” right on your phone. The problem is the ease of access of these “news” and how they pop up at any given moment on one’s cellphone. Since a good amount of people get their news on the phone nowadays, it’s simply a no-brainer to believe what’s said because people simply refuse to watch or read the real news. They’ve got nothing else to compare to so they just take whatever they saw.
The whole domestication of smartphones is important because many are attached to it and take things said on social media as if it was in real life. For example, a person calls a friend out on Facebook or Twitter and the one on the receiving end takes it as real words and gets mad at the instigator. However, the instigator comes directly to the person the next day saying that it’s a joke and there’s nothing to worry about. The receiving end is still mad at the instigator and is no longer friends with the person. Personally, I’ve seen trash talk on social media and people still seem to believe that it’s a threat of some sort. This demonstrates the same mentality that people have when viewing these fake news and taking them with face value without digging any deeper to the equation.
All in all, these are just a couple of my reasons as to why people fall for fake or click-bait news on the Internet.
Photo by Scott Beale CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
*BuzzFeed aka ClickbaitFeed