Facebook and misinformation

SuperMatt

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I found this article on Medium. Far-right misinformation spreads like wildfire on Facebook. A bunch of interesting questions are raised: are far-right viewers less able to spot fake news? Do they know it’s fake and pass it along for the lulz? Is it due to right-wingers being mostly older and having lots of free time to click on stuff? Whatever it is, Facebook is right up there with Fox on spreading falsehoods to right-wingers.

 

Joe

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I didn't realize how stupid people were until social media. It's easy to share fake news when it's wrapped up in a pretty little meme. People will believe anything if it fits their beliefs.

During the George Floyd protests and riots a meme was circulating in my small hometown saying Antifa was being bussed in from San Antonio and Houston. And people BELIEVED it. They were sharing this meme all over and getting their guns ready for Antifa to come to my podunk hometown lol I even commented on a few from people I went to high school with asking if they actually believed this crap? And letting them know that we in Houston have better things to do with our time than go to podunk,TX on a Saturday to riot lol This was around the time I realized that Facebook wasn't for me and I deactivated my account. I was just tired of all the fake news and BS that is shared on that site.
 
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SuperMatt

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I didn't realize how stupid people were until social media. It's easy to share fake news when it's wrapped up in a pretty little meme. People will believe anything if it fits their beliefs.

During the George Floyd protests and riots a meme was circulating in my small hometown saying Antifa was being bussed in from San Antonio and Houston. And people BELIEVED it. They were sharing this meme all over and getting their guns ready for Antifa to come to my podunk hometown lol I even commented on a few from people I went to high school with asking if they actually believed this crap? And letting them know that we in Houston have better things to do with our time than go to podunk,TX on a Saturday to riot lol This was around the time I realized that Facebook wasn't for me and I deactivated my account. I was just tired of all the fake news and BS that is shared on that site.
I am quite astonished at the things right-wingers will believe. Center and slight-left sources suffer a big penalty in views if they post misinformation. Far-right sources THRIVE on misinformation. Lies do far better than truth there, and the overall usage on the right when it comes to Facebook is huge.

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Are right-wingers just dumber than the average person? Or have their minds been softened up by years of Fox News? Or do they skew much older? I know older people start to undergo cognitive decline, and fall for scams of all kinds (tech support, financial, etc.) - so maybe that’s just what’s being reflected here?
 

Joe

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I am quite astonished at the things right-wingers will believe. Center and slight-left sources suffer a big penalty in views if they post misinformation. Far-right sources THRIVE on misinformation. Lies do far better than truth there, and the overall usage on the right when it comes to Facebook is huge.

1615324326224.png
Are right-wingers just dumber than the average person? Or have their minds been softened up by years of Fox News? Or do they skew much older? I know older people start to undergo cognitive decline, and fall for scams of all kinds (tech support, financial, etc.) - so maybe that’s just what’s being reflected here?

They are easier to scare that's for sure. Republican politicians don't have to do anything as long as they scream about socialism and guns.

My friends brother is still crying we are going to become Venezuela since Biden won and he's stocking up on guns because he thinks Antifa is gonna come to his neighborhood. I would laugh but it's really sad.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I think there are a couple issues at play. I read an article a while back that said far-right voters tend to be highly religious and therefore already believe something that is intangible and unprovable. Therefore it’s not that hard to get them to put faith in secular theories when it fits their worldview.

Then along came Trump who introduced the hyper victim card. Everybody is against them and any person or entity that shows sympathy for their victimhood must have all the answers about everything, no matter how absurd or farfetched.

Personally, I find it kind of sad that maybe at one point they had some valid points about being marginalized and disrespected, but when given their time in the spotlight to gain more sympathy and build bridges they instead used it for vengeance and hatred. You know, like Jesus taught them.
 
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SuperMatt

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Personally, I find it kind of sad that maybe at one point they had some valid points about being marginalized and disrespected, but when given their time in the spotlight to gain more sympathy and build bridges they instead used it for vengeance and hatred. You know, like Jesus taught them.
You know, I recall as a youngster growing up at what you’d now call an “evangelical” church, they tried to convince us that Christians are persecuted. The thing is, I don’t think Christians as a group have ever been persecuted in the United States of America. Sure, in the early days of the church, it happened, In other countries, sure it happens. But the entire idea of it happening in the USA is absurd if you look at American history.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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You know, I recall as a youngster growing up at what you’d now call an “evangelical” church, they tried to convince us that Christians are persecuted. The thing is, I don’t think Christians as a group have ever been persecuted in the United States of America. Sure, in the early days of the church, it happened, In other countries, sure it happens. But the entire idea of it happening in the USA is absurd if you look at American history.

I agree with you, but I've also grown up in a fairly progressive secular city where religion is welcome but certainly isn't the center of the community. I think their definition of persecution has been greatly expanded to include dwindling numbers lost to the temptations of the outside secular world.

Fun Fact: My mom was a nun straight out of high school until the age of 27 (had me at 30). She didn't have any great fallout with the church and is still an every Sunday church going Catholic. She just stopped being a nun because she felt she could do something more with her life other than constant praying. I was raised Catholic but it has never been rammed down my throat. I feel I have a healthy respect for the positive aspects of organized religion, but more often than not it's the problem, not the solution.
 
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SuperMatt

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I agree with you, but I've also grown up in a fairly progressive secular city where religion is welcome but certainly isn't the center of the community. I think their definition of persecution has been greatly expanded to include dwindling numbers lost to the temptations of the outside secular world.

Fun Fact: My mom was a nun straight out of high school until the age of 27 (had me at 30). She didn't have any great fallout with the church and is still an every Sunday church going Catholic. She just stopped being a nun because she felt she could do something more with her life other than constant praying. I was raised Catholic but it has never been rammed down my throat. I feel I have a healthy respect for the positive aspects of organized religion, but more often than not it's the problem, not the solution.
This false narrative of persecution has morphed into other forms such as “cancel culture.” I believe in God, who as we all know hates gays, therefore when I tweet that gay people are disgusting and going to hell, it is the DEVIL cancel-culturing me by shutting down my tweet-hose.
 
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SuperMatt

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It's a lack of critical thinking caused by various socio-economic and other (mostly) environmental factors. Most right wingers lack critical thinking skills, hence why they are right wingers, so it's a perfect breeding ground for misinformation to spread like a disease. Education (especially higher education) tends to result in people shifting towards more liberal ideas as they are exposed to knowledge and the wider, bigger world. This is why educated people are generally made fun of by the right wing leaders. Higher education's propensity to grow liberalism within society was already recognised as a threat by conservatives back in the late 40s / early 50s.
Sadly, such a war on education has diminished our nation. Imagine a nation that values education and individual rights. I’m not seeing America when I close my eyes to imagine that.
 
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Sadly, such a war on education has diminished our nation. Imagine a nation that values education and individual rights. I’m not seeing America when I close my eyes to imagine that.
Agree... I once mentioned at MR that I find it funny how Asians get labeled as "good at math" when in reality, Americans are the ones really bad at it. Seddy begged to differ, so I showed the OECD stats to support my statement. His response was that China uses a non-representative sample. I pointed it out that massively second world nations do not do this and highly out perform the USA. Guess what. No response.

I showed data how spending on education helps and he countered that that it doesn't. Fact is, it does, but you have to spend on early education first, because it costs much much more to catch up in higher education... The data is all there. I think a nation is doomed that rolls a barrier in front of higher education. I also think that other than a BSN, a BA/BS has minimal direct value, it just shows teaches you how to do higher level learning on your own. As such, it should be very heavily subsidized... Tuition rates have been totally out of control in the past 20 years.
 
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SuperMatt

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Agree... I once mentioned at MR that I find it funny how Asians get labeled as "good at math" when in reality, Americans are the ones really bad at it. Seddy begged to differ, so I showed the OECD stats to support my statement. His response was that China uses a non-representative sample. I pointed it out that massively second world nations do not do this and highly out perform the USA. Guess what. No response.

I showed data how spending on education helps and he countered that that it doesn't. Fact is, it does, but you have to spend on early education first, because it costs much much more to catch up in higher education... The data is all there. I think a nation is doomed that rolls a barrier in front of higher education. I also think that other than a BSN, a BA/BS has minimal direct value, it just shows teaches you how to do higher level learning on your own. As such, it should be very heavily subsidized... Tuition rates have been totally out of control in the past 20 years.
Seddy is a typical conservative… and that’s a big problem in our country. They’re getting dumber and dumber but they aren’t losing political power…. if anything, they are gaining it. In most countries, a viewpoint like his would be an outlier. In America, such falsehoods are “gospel” to many right-wingers.
 

Runs For Fun

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I found this article on Medium. Far-right misinformation spreads like wildfire on Facebook. A bunch of interesting questions are raised: are far-right viewers less able to spot fake news? Do they know it’s fake and pass it along for the lulz? Is it due to right-wingers being mostly older and having lots of free time to click on stuff? Whatever it is, Facebook is right up there with Fox on spreading falsehoods to right-wingers.

I think the older users of Facebook are definitely a factor. I don’t know what it is about this group of people but they seem to just blindly believe whatever they see online as truth. I find this so ironic because of what they warned us youngins about when we were growing up.

 
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SuperMatt

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I think the older users of Facebook are definitely a factor. I don’t know what it is about this group of people but they seem to just blindly believe whatever they see online as truth. I find this so ironic because of what they warned us youngins about when we were growing up.

Fantastic article. I’ve dealt with exactly the same things he did with older friends/family members. They seem to have no capability to spot scams, fake news, etc. on the web.

I was talking to an older neighbor who got an email purportedly from the post office telling her to login to a website to claim her package, and enter her email and password on the VERY OBVIOUS fake site. I had to calmly talk her down: “Did you ever give the post office your email address?” “No” “Then how would they have it?” “Why wouldn’t they just put a notice in your regular mail delivery that you have a package to pick up, isn’t that what they usually do?“ “I guess so….” I mean… just do some basic thinking here… but they automatically believe emails and they need to be convinced it IS spam instead of the other way around!!!

I don’t necessarily think it’s age per se for some of them. I think it’s that they avoided using the Internet until they absolutely had to for some specific reason… and then they just have NO idea how to differentiate real from fake on this “new” medium they’ve avoided for the last 20 years.
 
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Seddy is a typical conservative… and that’s a big problem in our country. They’re getting dumber and dumber but they aren’t losing political power…. if anything, they are gaining it. In most countries, a viewpoint like his would be an outlier. In America, such falsehoods are “gospel” to many right-wingers.
Seddy used to criticize Bush, and liked Obama in the past. THat's why I wasn't sure what happened to him, whether someone took over the account or what. It just doesn't make sense, esp that he criticized stuff in Bush that Trump did many times over. But yeah, he's indeed just a hollow US conservative who is trying to paint themselves as independent thinkers.
 

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When I had facebook people would share crap like "Share this post to receive a $500 gift card from the local grocery store" It was obviously a fake page but so many people would share it like they were really going to get a gift card. Some of my older relatives were the worst offenders of this crap. I would constantly comment on their post "You know this is fake right? LOL" or "Share this pic of this BWM for a chance to win it" from some fake BMW page.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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It's a lack of critical thinking caused by various socio-economic and other (mostly) environmental factors. Most right wingers lack critical thinking skills, hence why they are right wingers, so it's a perfect breeding ground for misinformation to spread like a disease. Education (especially higher education) tends to result in people shifting towards more liberal ideas as they are exposed to knowledge and the wider, bigger world. This is why educated people are generally made fun of by the right wing leaders. Higher education's propensity to grow liberalism within society was already recognised as a threat by conservatives back in the late 40s / early 50s.

I read about a study that determined people on the right tend to think about their personal problems and only those problems. The problems of people outside their group getting taken seriously are seen as a threat to their problems taking priority or getting shelved. Shocking revelation, I know.

Makes me think of the Bill Burr bit where he said about 8 seconds after BLM happened white people on the right came out angrily protesting with "My brother fought in Iraq!" or "My cousin is a firefighter!" as if BLM can't coexist with those facts that are nowhere near related.
 
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