How false news can spread - Noah Tavlin
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Sometimes, false information can spread so widely that it becomes accepted as true. For example, the Coati, a relative of the raccoon, native to Brazil, has become alternatively known as “the Brazilian Aardvark.” This blog post details ten of the biggest Wikipedia hoaxes to date.
While Wikipedia has high-risk potential to be a source of misinformation—and has been such in the past—its community of editors has become more and more vigilant about catching un-cited or biased edits to pages before they are widely read. For example, last year, Wikipedia announced that people paid to edit Wikipedia pages had to disclose this publicly. However, it’s not always so simple to catch suspicious Wikipedia editors. Even Congress does it.
The example of the British Journal of Medicine publishing an annual issue of sarcastic articles raises an even larger ethical debate. Does a medical journal have a responsibility not to deviate from its format? Do all publications have this responsibility? This article in The Atlantic explores this issue.
Why do we sometimes believe what we read or hear, even when we shouldn’t? There is a psychological explanation.
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