Tag: misinformation

Making sense of misinformation part three: Is misinformation getting worse?

Is misinformation getting worse? The short answer is yes. The misinformation challenge has grown over the last ten years for a variety of reasons. Probably the most significant change over the last two decades has been our ‘information environment’. While the vast majority of us once got our news from a small number of common, trusted sources, billions of people around the world are now getting their news through their news feeds on social media. This ‘news’ can be produced by anyone, anywhere in the world. Importantly, with the new tools in web design and the platform provided by social media, it’s easy to produce content that has the look and feel of reliable, mainstream news.

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Making sense of misinformation part two: Why are people falling for misinformation?

The reasons why people fall for misinformation fall on a spectrum: from non-political reasons to intensely political. Misinformation is often believed by people who lack knowledge/expertise in a particular field, people suffering with anxiety about a particular topic (e.g. health anxiety), as well as people who passively scroll through social media to find news instead of deliberately seeking it out from trusted outlets.

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Making sense of misinformation part one: What is misinformation?

The rise of misinformation in our society has been supercharged by what academics call ‘information overload’, which means our brains are processing more information than they can handle, often leaving us in a state of overwhelm, making us more vulnerable to misinformation. So, if you sometimes find yourself thinking back to the political earthquakes of 2016 and feeling like the years since then have been a blur, it’s no accident. 

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