Fake News More Important Than Real News On Facebook

In the Bible people often pray for knowledge, wisdom and understanding. In the information age, wisdom and understanding are more important than ever.

We need an emphasis on things like critical thinking and media literacy. Also how the internet works. Facebook saw a staggering number of fake news articles (Pro-Trump, Anti-Hillary new articles to be exact) go viral.

Trump's change voters...so driven by confirmation bias (really? people given to one form of bias are susceptible to other forms? Say it ain't so!) ate up all the fake articles that confirmed what they believed. And voted like it. And donated like it. From a WashingtonPost article with one of the publishers of these fake news sites:

Facebook (and Google) have taken steps to curtail these fake news sites and rightfully so, the hits keep on rolling:

One example is the remarkably successful, utterly untrustworthy site Ending the Fed. It was responsible for four of the top 10 false election stories identified in the analysis: Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton selling weapons to ISIS, Hillary Clinton being disqualified from holding federal office, and the FBI director receiving millions from the Clinton Foundation. These four stories racked up a total of roughly 2,953,000 Facebook engagements in the three months leading up to Election Day.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks it's "pretty crazy" that his site had anything to do with Trump's success. He could be right, but..."coincidentally" Trump raised over $90,000,000.00 on Facebook from August onwards, which matches up with the above chart showing "fake news" site engagement spiking upwards as well.

Not for nothing, but give people a whole lot of information and zero wisdom (developed through critical thinking and media literacy) to apply that knowledge and it's pretty clear horrible things can happen.

Like Donald Trump becoming President and his leading guy for National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, falls for the fake news and shares it with 1000's of people as well. A guy who can't think critically enough to discern / pick up the phone and call someone he knows in intelligence (he ran intelligence and was in charge of Black Ops and JSOC) to verify is going to be advising President Trump on national security. Or maybe he knew it was fake and shared it anyways? Either way, not good.

UPDATE: If you want help detecting b.s. on Facebook...download this handy tool if you use Google Chrome.

KB

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