How Fake News Goes Viral


Senior Member.
Article on the BBC today suggesting an alternate cause for fake news: "misaligned social information interpretation":
As Hendricks and Hansen put it, “when you don’t possess sufficient information to solve a given problem, or if you just don’t want to or have the time for processing it, then it can be rational to imitate others by way of social proof”. When we either know very little about something, or the information surrounding it is overwhelming, it makes excellent sense to look to others’ apparent beliefs as an indication of what is going on. In fact, this is often the most reasonable response, so long as we have good reason to believe that others have access to accurate information; and that what they seem to think and what they actually believe are the same.
Content from External Source
To summarise: when people need to react to something other people are doing - such as when a crowd is caught in a stampede - we can either take the time to research exactly what's going on, or we can make a snap judgment based on what we see in others' actions. Part of why people believe fake news and don't fully research the stories, some researchers proposed, could therefore be a hard-wired, time saving, and generally useful shortcut to getting information based on what the crowd is doing.
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Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
From PolitiFact: Health misinformation website rebrands as pro-Trump outlet to get around ban from Facebook


About Natural News (owned and operated by Mike Adams), which had been banned from Facebook and what I found really informative was that

Mike Adams, the owner of Natural News and author of the story about Sparta and antifa, has dozens of other websites. Rory Smith, a research manager at First Draft, an organization that studies the spread of misinformation, found more than 200 domains that appear to be related to Natural News.

"It looks like each of these websites has the exact same layout," Smith said in a message. "So Mike Adams has expanded his junk news empire."

Some of those sites, like and, have also published the story about antifa groups and Sparta. Others, like, have posted different stories about Black Lives Matter protests. Some even impersonate legitimate media outlets, like Snopes and the Washington Post.