Why do We Believe Fake News?

How can people be so gullible to believe some of the most ridiculous stories? For any fake stories that I’ve fallen for it’s been because I wanted to believe them or because I have found them crazy enough to share with others. Take the Swift proposal for example. While I was reading it I talked about it with all 3 of my roommates because I found it so ridiculous and that was before I learned that it wasn’t a real proposal. I was so eager to share how disturbing and awful this Johnathon Swift guy was that I didn’t even look into if it was real or not and we are in this class talking about satire.

I believe that another reason is that there is a need for us to share information with other people, especially if it is one of the best stories you’ve heard all year. In one of our readings from npr.org, Craig Silverman was talking about how fake news was actually beating out real news at times during the election. The weird thing is that it makes sense, most people would rather read about one of the candidates emails with ISIS, than about how a former CIA member is now endorsing one of them. And when you see these two headlines one is going to stick out and will be so much more appealing to read about because it was made for entertainment, not for providing information.

One last reason is that usually everybody has their own opinion before they read an article and if they agree with what they read they are much more likely to think that it is true because they want it to be true. Then if they agree with it they are going to be much more likely to share it and show why they are right and that trend continues with everybody that wants to prove their point as well. Do you think that these 3 reasons are unfair to say about people, are they correct, or are there other reasons for why people believe fake news?


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