A new study has found that people are willing to believe fake news if they think it might be true. Especially if they agree with the message behind the fake news (or if they’re outraged), they go in with butter and sugar. And if that’s not true now, maybe one day it will be.
The study was conducted by the London Business School. In six experiments, involving more than 3,600 people, researchers showed participants from Europe and the United States a variety of clearly false claims.
The big question was: How immoral is this lie? People who supported the claim found the lies to be much less dangerous. Americans who were fans of Trump didn’t mind the lie that a million people voted illegally. They think it could happen.
Europeans most sympathetic to the left did not find lies about corporations or entrepreneurs unethical. Another factor is that there is an underlying feeling among many companies that companies cheat all the time. So this may not be true now, but it may turn out to be true.
The researchers wrote in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that many people are willing to share fake news on social platforms if they feel it can become true. Lying has never been so easy.
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