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Talk:Fake news

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This Internet related article has been awarded GOLD status for quality. Please keep this in mind when editing the article. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


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You think we should upgrade this to silver? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 20:59, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

It seems reasonable to me. Bongolian (talk) 21:02, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
It's very close. The references need to be cleaned up somewhat. The table of contents is very big and could be right-aligned to get rid of the white space. But the content is very well done and deserves a silver nomination. Regards, Cosmikdebris (talk) 21:04, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
All right, Cosmikdebris upgraded it to silver. For future reference, what would it take for this article to be gold? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 21:20, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  • The topic is highly relevant to RW's mission.
  • Article is essentially a "go to" resource for the topic at hand.
  • Article covers all aspects of the topic at hand in-depth.
  • It is fully referenced with appropriate internal and external links, and categories.
  • Where necessary and possible, the article is supported by others that are of a good quality (e.g., homeopathy and water memory).
  • The cover status has been discussed and agreed on the talk page. This last criterion is the most important.
First three items aren't there right now, next 2 are fine. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:43, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
(ec) Mostly, community consensus and discussion here, per article rating guidelines. There's also some minor bookkeeping to be done so the article abstract can be included as a cover page article. Regards, Cosmikdebris (talk) 21:44, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
I feel the first two items are fine, given that it's "highly relevant" and that it's structured like a useful go-to resource and provides a lot of resources at the end. The next two might need some work, especially how our references section is littered with bare links, so maybe not "fully referenced". I'm not sure if this stuff is fully-thorough though. Is there discussion on the crack down on fake news? There isn't relevant information on Facebook's attempted crack down, especially with InfoWars as a neutered target. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 21:48, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
The bare links in the references was the first thing that caught my attention, but this is relatively easy to fix. The recent Alex Jones saga and actions by the giant media platforms should probably be added. Regards, Cosmikdebris (talk) 21:53, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

@Cosmikdebris I fixed the blank space problem. Nerd (talk) 15:13, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

@Cosmikdebris, @LeftyGreenMario, @Nerd. I have replaced all of the bare links and replaced most of the fake news website links with archived versions. Many of the fake news website links were dead, and seem to be generally unreliable. I added a new subsection on Paul Horner, who appears to have been an important key player. I have also added a few additional debunking references. Bongolian (talk) 07:55, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Good job Bongolian. Much appreciated to change the lazy links. This article is shaping to be really good. One more thing, the "Fake news and phishing" section is weirdly lumped at the end. It needs to be moved to body information at the article. In the future, the article will probably get bigger as the list of fake news expands. "Dishonest representation of real news": I'm not sure if that section should be there in the article unless those outlets are commonly mislabeled as fake news, but I do think it's important to hammer in the distinction between Fox News and fake news. Also, that "see also" list needs some cleanup; it has several links to fake news pages, which should be incorporated into the list like the other outlets. Or, we should consider making a separate page that's like the current list, but bigger, more comprehensive. We probably should keep the list already in the article, so only the more popular ones should be there. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 21:03, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
@Bongolian Good job! Thank you! Nerd (talk) 23:49, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Excellent work, @Bongolian. Now we need to develop a cover page abstract. Cosmikdebris (talk) 20:04, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

Lack of reasoning vs. motivated reasoning in fake news: new research[edit]

Lazy, not biased: Susceptibility to partisan fake news is better explained by lack of reasoning than by motivated reasoning, Cognition(not open access, use sci-hub). So the default assumption people seem to have about highly partisan fake news is that it's playing to cognitive biases that we've traditionally associated with partisanship: motivated reasoning, cognitive dissonance avoidance, confirmation bias. In fact when writing this article, I think I personally included a fair number of statements implying that as did other editors. The author's conclusions, which is supported by their evidence, is that they type 1 errors, believing fake news to be real, is slightly more affected by intuitive versus deliberative approaches truth, as established by a fairly standard psychological inventory, than partisan bias.

But what their evidence also shows, and is brushed aside in their abstract and only touched on in discussion, is that type 2 errors, believing real news to be fake, is absolutely dominated by partisan bias, irrespective of method of truth understanding. But only on the trump-supporting side. I feel like both of these are very salient factors for incorporating into the article. Anyone want to read the study and compare notes before I go changing things? ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:13, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Hmm I don't think the study goes into the possibility that those presented with news they doubt is real try to look up through a search engine first. In fact, the study omits those that admit going online (33 of them it seems)? Why? And does the study show just headlines or are participants allowed to check other parts of the sites? A lot of the tips on spotting fake news can't be applied to the study, assuming some of the participants are aware of the tips. This study seems to be limited to merely judging the headlines. Also, is there any chance that people were able to recognize some of the headlines?
"Moreover, there was a general tendency for more analytic individuals to rate real news as more accurate (although not for Republican-consistent and neutral news headlines among Clinton supporters)." That parentheses stopped me, as it seems to contradict what you said earlier? They qualified it later, "this tendency may be driven by different prior beliefs about what is or is not plausible."
"Thus, far from being particularly vulnerable to fake news that was constructed to accord with their political ideology, our participants be they supporters of Clinton or Trump were actually more accurate when judging politically-consistent news headlines." <- that should be included in the article if it isn't already.
BTW is this study applicable to the backfire effect, possibly contradicting it? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 17:51, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
The backfire effect study has had multiple follow ups questioning it pretty resolutely. As to that limitation, my guess is they were more interested in the psychology than the sociology. They wanted to understand how mode of thinking affected the conclusions moreso than whether people were capable of getting the facts right. I'd love to see with and without incorporated and see if it strengthens or weakens results. As to how it affects our article, maybe you're right? ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 18:42, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
One more thing, where in the paper does it say that the Trump-supporting side is more suspect to identifying real headlines as fake? The left fig 8. scatterplot on page 8 doesn't show that conclusion (I expect the red circles to be much lower...), but I did notice that Trump-supporters seem to be less capable of identifying fake as real as the trend overall seems to show red triangles (red=Trump supporters, triangles=fake news) higher on perceived accuracy than the blue ones. Am I reading something wrong or forgetting other information in the paper? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 20:01, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
Unless I'm seriously misreading it, figure 1b. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:16, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
Interesting. It seems that even the deliberative (top quartile scorers) participants of the Trump support side seem to have lower perceived accuracy than intuitive (bottom-quartile scorers) Clinton supporters for real pro-Democrat headlines And I also suppose that's where the parentheses statement about Clinton-preference and real news relationship came from, as that's the only part where intuitive scored better than deliberative (but only a little better). That's odd, maybe that needs investigation and a resampling. This is reflected by Fig. 4. Anyhow, I believe this should be put in the article, but I do wonder why there's no dicussion about that beyond a paragraph in page 5 (particularly the passage that begins with "Crucially, there was an interaction between type of news and political ideology").--It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 21:36, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
It's possible Trump voters use a broader definition of "fake news" than other participants. Did the researchers take this into account? (talk) 21:51, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
Actual text of the question used: "To the best of your knowledge, how accurate is the claim in the above headline?" I suppose you could chase that thought further by asking if trump supporters use a narrower definition of "accurate", but I think that addresses your immediate concern. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 00:56, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
That might be a question for the political disparity for calling real news "fake" but I don't think that difference of definition adequately explains the other results, nor does it affect the conclusion that classical reasoning / perceived plausibility affects accurate perception of news. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 02:10, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

Fake news motivations[edit]

You've published this explanation of the reason for fake news, and I don't agree with it's narrowness. " the hopes of getting more clicks by feeding people the headlines they didn't know they wanted, in the hopes knowledge that shamelessly pandering to an agenda often proves sufficient to suspend the readers' disbelief."

Fake news can and is used often as a tool of propaganda with the intention as described in you Jonathan Swift quote. Please edit this to reflect a more comprehensive explanation. Fake News, for example has been used by certain political parties for the purpose of creating truth out of fiction. If it's repeated enough times, it becomes accepted as fact even if it's not proven or supported empirically. Even when proved to be fake empirically, many will continue to believe the lie. This is the intent. Whether for purposes of power or agenda or some other reason, this is certainly an intention by certain political forces in the USA for the past 20 years. — Unsigned, by: 2601:189:c47f:9010:144f:d634:895:36b5 / talk

That opening line is basically short-hand for what you just said? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 18:09, 12 June 2019 (UTC)


Should some version of the 'cindered Australia map' be included? Anna Livia (talk) 16:54, 7 January 2020 (UTC)


This might belong here or on one of the Covid pages. Anna Livia (talk) 16:20, 30 November 2020 (UTC)