At Psychology Today Blogs, Alison Escalante explores why persons fall for fake news and misinformation on “social” media. She focuses on (mis)information about COVID-19, but I believe her conclusions can be generalized to larger topics.
The study she discusses suggests that much of the bilge is broadcast because the persons “sharing” it just don’t think before they click. Here’s a bit:
“People often assume that misinformation and fake news is shared online because people are incapable of distinguishing between what is true and what is false,” said lead author Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina, Canada in a press release. “Our research reveals that is not necessarily the case. Instead, we find that people tend to share false information about COVID-19 on social media because they simply fail to think about accuracy when making decisions about what to share with others.”