2 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2016
    1. Poe’s law also played a prominent role in Facebook’s fake news problem, particularly in the spread of articles written with the cynical intention of duping Trump supporters through fabrication and misinformation. Readers may have passed these articles along as gospel because they really did believe, for example, that an FBI agent investigating Hillary Clinton’s private email server died mysteriously. Or maybe they didn’t believe it but wanted to perpetuate the falsehood for a laugh, out of boredom, or simply to watch the world burn. Each motive equally possible, each equally unverifiable, and each normalizing and incentivizing the spread of outright lies.

      Both Vectors

      Fake news was spread by both people who believed it and people who thought it was funny. Interestingly, it was spread on both vectors simultaneously.

      Poe’s law also played a prominent role in Facebook’s fake news problem, particularly in the spread of articles written with the cynical intention of duping Trump supporters through fabrication and misinformation. Readers may have passed these articles along as gospel because they really did believe, for example, that an FBI agent investigating Hillary Clinton’s private email server died mysteriously. Or maybe they didn’t believe it but wanted to perpetuate the falsehood for a laugh, out of boredom, or simply to watch the world burn. Each motive equally possible, each equally unverifiable, and each normalizing and incentivizing the spread of outright lies.

      For some purposes it doesn't actually matter whether people believed it or not -- and this is where it gets interesting. The spreading of lies as hoaxes or lies as disinformation both undermine the idea of truth, and, as the author states, the "normalizing and incentivizing of outright lies.

  2. Jul 2016