Read the full article at Michigan Radio.
ow do we sort out fact from fiction on social media? Do we really want to? It seems that people are quickly and happily sharing things online that are pure fiction without question and without a critical thought.
Stateside host Cynthia Canty found herself asking these questions recently when something came up on her Facebook feed. Some friends shared a story describing an airplane flight crew "taking a knee," walking off the plane, and stranding the New Orleans Saints: the flight crew's "protest" of players kneeling during the National Anthem.
Somebody would share the story, and then his friends would pile on, saying, “Yeah, that'll show them what America is about.”
You get the idea.
The thing is, all these people, including those people Canty knows, were congratulating the flight crew for something that never happened.
It was pure fiction.
Canty says she tracked down the source of the story in about a minute: a "satire" website which deliberately posts what it calls works of pure satirical fiction, hoping to punk the very people who are jumping on that story to share it.
Colleen Seifert, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, joined Stateside to share what she's found out about how fiction becomes accepted as fact on social media.
Listen to the interview with Professor Seifert.