Social Media: Lies and Gullibility

Context: Social media users more likely to believe misinformation

The adoption of a “social” communications technology walks hand in hand with the suspension of disbelief as to the veracity of curated information broadcast on that channel; a wilful or semi-unconscious cognitive entrapment as progressive desensitisation to serial falsehoods. This may have taken a particular shape in America but is clearly a Global problem.

From a complex systems perspective, it is interesting to note that the more social and political turbulence that any particular transmission medium (i.e. here – social media) generates, the more commercial and cultural or psychosocial gravity that platform acquires. No surprise, then, that a central (if at least partially autonomous, emergent) property of these systems has become the cultivation of a transmission medium of minds and artefacts that are primed for optimal information “stickiness” and retransmission through the invocation of partisan dissonance.

What percentage of disinformation is overtly adversarial, partisan? Notice that virality is often a function of information entropy manifest as controversial social media posts. Information systems are autonomously biased towards self-replication and it just so happens that fakes fly further and faster than facts.

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