How well-meaning people end up spreading fake news

The well-intentioned inadvertently participate in the cycle of making a conspiracy theory go viral. The thing about sharing your outrage over a despicable idea is that it's still a share, says the writer, and that ends up perpetuating fake news.
The well-intentioned inadvertently participate in the cycle of making a conspiracy theory go viral. The thing about sharing your outrage over a despicable idea is that it's still a share, says the writer, and that ends up perpetuating fake news.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

The false belief that a 17-year-old who survived the Parkland massacre in Florida is actually a paid actor, or perhaps being nefariously coached by liberals to promote gun control, began on the fringe. It didn't stay there.

The idea became content - Gateway Pundit published a piece with a photograph of teenager David Hogg, the word "EXPOSED" written across it in big red letters.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2018, with the headline 'How well-meaning people end up spreading fake news'. Subscribe