▷ Anatomy of the fake news phenomenon 2020 -

WhatsApp recently decided to limit the forwarding of a message to five recipients to stem the problem of fake news. Following attacks, lynchings and murders orchestrated in certain countries by criminal people who used the simple message transfer function to disseminate bad information for the sole purpose of reaching an end, the application decided, it is better late than never, to take the bull by the horns…

Facebook (which owns WhatsApp), Twitter and the like also regularly assert that they are fighting the spread of fake news.

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But why, despite all the good resolutions posted by these companies, the phenomenon of fake news continues to develop?

The main reason is that fake news is just one of the carburetors that have helped these companies to develop massively.

They live on it, of course.

According to a study by 3 MIT researchers:

  • While the truth is rarely disseminated to more than 1,000 people, the top 1% of cascades of fake news generally affects between 1,000 and 100,000 people;
  • Fake news would be 70% more likely to be retweeted than real information, and by a much higher number of unique users;
  • It actually takes about six times longer than falsity to reach 1,500 people;
  • The problem comes mainly from Mr. and Mrs. everyone.

Source: On Twitter, fake news spreads much faster than the truth, L’OBS

The fake news is actually based on well-known anthropological principles:

Contented people will relay their contentment on average to 3 people while contented people will relay their dissatisfaction to 11 people.

  • It is not the veracity of information that causes information to be disseminated en masse, but its presence: bad information thus manages to disseminate en masse, because it hits the bull’s eye in a given societal environment at an instant i – which is quite different.
  • Fake news acts on springs such as hatred, jealousy and resentment, which are the carburetors animating the brain life of very many people (just take the time to read the comments left by internet users in articles published online, which in addition are generally filtered so that the most virulent ones are not published): they reassure their interior life by re-feeding themselves of such erroneous information.
  • Criminals, malicious people, poor people and bastards mainly use, and what’s more, the principle of fake news to come to an end. This is their main modus operandi to the extent that they are not really intellectually armed to face stronger than them. Their register is not really that of the smart power, but rather that of the fake news power.

Fake news is therefore not a new phenomenon. There has always been fake news. What is new is the quantity with which they multiply, like hotcakes, as well as the speed with which they are diffused, in particular via new digital technologies and bloated media: computers, smartphones, applications , websites, blogs, text messages, newspapers, magazines, news channels, etc. It is also the ease with which it is now possible to design, manufacture, relay them very quickly and distribute them en masse.