After examining what percentage of tweets about the coronavirus contain misinformation and downright falsehoods (hint: far too much), Phil Reed, writing at Psychology Today Blogs, moves on to examine why others pick them up and spread them. His answer will not bolster your faith in humans as rational creatures (but, these days, what does?). Here’s the nub; follow the link for the evidence and citations (emphasis added):
So the question is – why do people do it? Why do they spread misinformation, stress, and anxiety through the community, and bring more danger to all, including themselves? Clearly, some of this is malicious, and some political, but most is probably generated by people with no particular thought or purpose. In fact, a clear candidate for why they unthinkingly spread misinformation is, unsurprisingly, that they do not think about what they are doing.