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Rant - Why do people believe stuff from social media
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Do you verify something is true before passing it on?
Always  
 42%  [ 20 ]
Sometimes  
 46%  [ 22 ]
Never  
 10%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 47



amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 11:10 am
My sister in law sent me a link to a WhatsApp group. I clicked to join without knowing what it was figuring I could always leave.

It was an anti-vax group where everyone posts anti vax stuff to keep each other informed. Not sure why, if your anti vax why do you need more? My sister in law then messaged me, True information about vaccines!

I don't get it. She is really intelligent in general. I'm not super pro or against vaccines but why do you think just because someone posted something on Whatsapp that it's true? Most of this stuff has no source. Could be some of it is valid but loads of it is made by people to make a point, to fool people, as a joke, or for other dubious reasons. The pro-vax people do the same thing.

Covid is the obvious example (I remember someone sent me something that was supposed to look like a medical article about why the vaccine is bad for fertility and I was just laughing as I read it because the medical terms were completely not what they were pretending to be it was talking about stool softeners).

But same goes for other things... Elections, new laws, etc where people run with headlines and makes memes based on them and post online/whatsapp and ARE BELIEVED.

Why would someone intelligent believe this stuff? I'm sure half the stuff with sources is garbage too... I am a big believer in taking EVERYTHING will a grain of salt.
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ShishKabob




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 11:12 am
Because people believe what they want to believe. That's how I see it.
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amother




Bone
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 11:14 am
getting the popcorn out.. Wink
they dont believe in mainstream media, only social media. Any crazy person with a tiktok account saying that covid is a farce, and vaccines are changing your genetics.. can really build a cult in 3-2-1...
waiting for the tomatoes..
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amother




Forestgreen
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 11:34 am
So what do YOU believe? Mainstream media which is censored? Honestly I dont believe everything I read, but it is good to see both sides, not just the narrative the media feeds us.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 11:38 am
amother [ Forestgreen ] wrote:
So what do YOU believe? Mainstream media which is censored? Honestly I dont believe everything I read, but it is good to see both sides, not just the narrative the media feeds us.


I look for multiple sources on something that really interests me so I can make an educated decision on what to believe. Otherwise I categorize it as maybe and don't stand firm behind the ideas.
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ShishKabob




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 11:41 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I look for multiple sources on something that really interests me so I can make an educated decision on what to believe. Otherwise I categorize it as maybe and don't stand firm behind the ideas.
Good for you, however, honestly, we all have our preconceived ideas about certain things and we tend to lean towards believing that. And we tend to get our sources to agree with it. It takes a really open mind to look at an issue from totally left field.

Otoh, the dishonesty is so rampant that it's very difficult to get a 'real' feel for things. You find out years later that certain scientists arranged their experiments to feed their own conclusion and that it wasn't science in the end. It's made me very cynical and skeptical.
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amother




Bergamot
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 11:54 am
amother [ Bone ] wrote:
getting the popcorn out.. Wink
they dont believe in mainstream media, only social media. Any crazy person with a tiktok account saying that covid is a farce, and vaccines are changing your genetics.. can really build a cult in 3-2-1...
waiting for the tomatoes..



Wait- do you believe in mainstream media? It's easy to pick on the extreme and wacky side of the off the rails cult, but the mainstream media hasn't exactly been honest about Covid. Whether it's the origins (Wuhan China) or the amount of hospitalizations and deaths, the don't exactly have any credibility.
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amother




Gardenia
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 12:48 pm
So how do you verify your information? Everything I’ve questioned the last few years whether about corona or the president etc.. turned out to be true. Yet at the time some people were insistent that they had all the information and my questioning showed I was dumb. If you believe things just because a few news organizations claim it’s true then sadly you are not verifying anything. History has taught me that those who are skeptical and question often end up with the correct information. And there is nothing wrong with questioning ever. I don’t get the goal here. Is it to convince everyone to believe the media blindly? That just seems like you want everyone brainwashed. What exactly is wrong with questions?
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amother




Red
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 12:51 pm
I love how the assumption that anything posted on whatsapp must be false and everything published by CNN is true.
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amother




Cerise
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 12:51 pm
It depends. If someone lets me know someone is engaged- there’s not much verification needed. If someone sends me a news article, if I think it’s interesting I’ll share it, if someone sends me a study or link to a website- that needs more verification.
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amother




Gardenia
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 12:53 pm
amother [ Cerise ] wrote:
It depends. If someone lets me know someone is engaged- there’s not much verification needed. If someone sends me a news article, if I think it’s interesting I’ll share it, if someone sends me a study or link to a website- that needs more verification.


And why do you assume the news article is correct or true? Why do you not verify the information? I can’t even count how many news articles I read that misrepresented facts or misquoted someone I watched speaking live.
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devorah1231




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 12:53 pm
So if someone sends me a news article and I feel interesting either because I think it's funny or because I think it's true if I forward it then they know who the source is because they can see. But I won't forward a random statistic that somebody screenshot with no sources along with it.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 12:54 pm
amother [ Red ] wrote:
I love how the assumption that anything posted on whatsapp must be false and everything published by CNN is true.


I don't think anybody actually believes this. I think they can both be true or false.

I think something is more credible (not necessarily true but more credible) if multiple people say it and are not scared to put their names on it. A random person who doesn't say who they are is not somebody I can trust.
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amother




Gardenia
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 12:57 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I don't think anybody actually believes this. I think they can both be true or false.

I think something is more credible (not necessarily true but more credible) if multiple people say it and are not scared to put their names on it. A random person who doesn't say who they are is not somebody I can trust.


People happily put their names on lies. That’s not a good way to judge something being credible.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 1:01 pm
amother [ Gardenia ] wrote:
People happily put their names on lies. That’s not a good way to judge something being credible.


You're right, I should have said trustworthy people, as much as anyone can be called trustworthy nowadays... Obviously we never know...
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BubblyBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 1:06 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My sister in law sent me a link to a WhatsApp group. I clicked to join without knowing what it was figuring I could always leave.

It was an anti-vax group where everyone posts anti vax stuff to keep each other informed. Not sure why, if your anti vax why do you need more? My sister in law then messaged me, True information about vaccines!

I don't get it. She is really intelligent in general. I'm not super pro or against vaccines but why do you think just because someone posted something on Whatsapp that it's true? Most of this stuff has no source. Could be some of it is valid but loads of it is made by people to make a point, to fool people, as a joke, or for other dubious reasons. The pro-vax people do the same thing.

Covid is the obvious example (I remember someone sent me something that was supposed to look like a medical article about why the vaccine is bad for fertility and I was just laughing as I read it because the medical terms were completely not what they were pretending to be it was talking about stool softeners).

But same goes for other things... Elections, new laws, etc where people run with headlines and makes memes based on them and post online/whatsapp and ARE BELIEVED.

Why would someone intelligent believe this stuff? I'm sure half the stuff with sources is garbage too... I am a big believer in taking EVERYTHING will a grain of salt.


Why don't you mail back a link to a Mickey Mouse movie und write "true information about mice"?
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 1:34 pm
amother [ Gardenia ] wrote:
History has taught me that those who are skeptical and question often end up with the correct information. And there is nothing wrong with questioning ever.

Isn't that what OP is saying?

The problem is that some people pat themselves on the back for "questioning" when in reality, they're just stubbornly refusing to believe anything they hear from sources they don't approve of, while agreeing with everything they hear from other, equally-or-less-reliable sources. It's not skepticism if the only things you question are the ones you don't want to hear.

Eg people who get all skeptical of scientists because "they're in it for the money," without questioning for a second whether the people who encourage them not to trust scientists are in it for the money (spoiler: yes).
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amother




Gardenia
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 1:56 pm
ora_43 wrote:
Isn't that what OP is saying?

The problem is that some people pat themselves on the back for "questioning" when in reality, they're just stubbornly refusing to believe anything they hear from sources they don't approve of, while agreeing with everything they hear from other, equally-or-less-reliable sources. It's not skepticism if the only things you question are the ones you don't want to hear.

Eg people who get all skeptical of scientists because "they're in it for the money," without questioning for a second whether the people who encourage them not to trust scientists are in it for the money (spoiler: yes).


I find that people assume if I’m questioning media I’m also believing random shares with no source. Which isn’t true I question everything and anything. I also don’t forward shares I have discussions about why I believe or don’t believe things.
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Fox




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 2:17 pm
amother [ Bergamot ] wrote:
Wait- do you believe in mainstream media? It's easy to pick on the extreme and wacky side of the off the rails cult, but the mainstream media hasn't exactly been honest about Covid. Whether it's the origins (Wuhan China) or the amount of hospitalizations and deaths, the don't exactly have any credibility.

There's scholarly work in communication and rhetoric that's been around for decades about the circumstances that cause people to believe in wildly improbable theories.

The first is a crisis or major event of some kind, whether real or manufactured.

The second is a lack of transparency by the usual authority figures.

The less transparency is shown by authority figures, the more people will believe in wildly improbable theories.

Trust in mainstream journalism has been declining precipitously for 30+ years. People are largely cynical that they will get real answers from journalists.

Trust in government agencies, such as the CDC, NIH, and FDA have eroded because of mixed and erroneous messaging about Covid. This has been exacerbated by the "Streisand Effect" of social media banning anyone who questions the government narrative -- even when their statements are later proven accurate.

The bottom line is that most of the people staffing these agencies as well as those working for mainstream media outlets are playing the game with 1990 rules, not 2022 rules. They don't understand that withholding information or spinnng it in some way no longer flies.
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jan 12 2022, 2:21 pm
We don’t need journalists as such anymore. In a situation where regular citizens can’t make their voices heard, journalists are equally powerless. See: Kazakhstan in the past week.
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