Fake news poisons the reader


Graphic from Finance Monthly

Graphic from Finance Monthly

We’ve seen the studies that people who get suckered by hoaxes, when confronted with the facts, defend the hoax.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that a little further research shows that faked news stories generally fall into the memory of people, even after they’ve seen the debunkings and acknowledge the hoax.

We can still hate it, but we shouldn’t be surprised.

First impressions stick, and they color our judgments of people and news (and history) even after we learn the impression was given to us incorrectly. We can’t fix errors of judgment easily. Scientific American’s blog reports on several pieces of research into the phenomena.

Which means, it’s not enough to just counter fake news and hoaxes. We have to prevent them from being the first out of the starting gate, and get accurate information out early.

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