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MONKTOBERFEST 2018: Psychology of Fake News

Cecy C.
October 04, 2018
47

MONKTOBERFEST 2018: Psychology of Fake News

Fake news spread six times faster in social media than true stories. As technologists, our industry has built the tools that enable the spread of disinformation across social, the web, and beyond. But fake news is nothing new, it has been a part of each advancement in the technology that powers the spread of information, from the printing press to blogging. What makes fake news so appealing? Is it a tech problem or a human problem? In this talk, I will explain the psychology that makes fake news appealing to our brain, and what technology can learn about this psychology to build better tools.

Cecy C.

October 04, 2018
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Transcript

  1. PSYCHOLOGY OF FAKE NEWS
    [CECY CORREA // @cecycorrea // 2018]
    AND WHAT TECH CAN DO ABOUT IT

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  2. RESEARCHING FAKE NEWS SINCE 2016

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  3. HOW DID WE GET HERE?

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  4. WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE FAKE NEWS?

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  5. THE PSYCHOLOGY
    BEHIND FAKE NEWS

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  6. HOW BELIEFS ARE FORMED
    HOW WE EXPERIENCE
    KNOWLEDGE

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  7. THINKING FAST AND SLOW, DANIEL KAHNEMAN
    HOW BELIEFS ARE FORMED

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  8. STUDY:
    “Steve is very shy and withdrawn.
    Helpful but shows little interest in
    people. Meek and tidy with a passion for
    structure.”
    IS STEVE A FARMER OR A LIBRARIAN?

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  9. STUDY:
    “Steve is very shy and withdrawn.
    Helpful but shows little interest in
    people. Meek and tidy with a passion for
    structure.”
    IS STEVE A FARMER OR A LIBRARIAN?

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  10. 20 FARMERS PER 1 LIBRARIAN

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  11. SYSTEM 1
    fast, automatic, intuitive
    (FAST)

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  12. SYSTEM 2
    Analytical
    (SLOW)

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  13. WE USE SLOW MIND (SYSTEM 2) TO FORM
    BELIEFS, OUR ACTIONS ON THOSE BELIEFS ARE
    INSTINCTUAL

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  14. FAKE NEWS SITES COVERING THE SAME ‘STORY’
    SOURCE: BUZZFEED

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  15. YELLOW JOURNALISM
    EST. 1890s

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  16. SENSATIONALISTIC HEADLINES WORK BECAUSE
    THEY APPEAL TO OUR FEELINGS

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  17. WHERE DO FEELINGS FIT WITH BELIEFS
    AND KNOWLEDGE?

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  18. “WHEN FACED WITH A
    DIFFICULT QUESTION, WE
    ANSWER AN EASIER ONE
    INSTEAD”

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  19. HOW WE ANSWER QUESTIONS WITH FEELINGS
    “How should financial
    advisors who prey on
    the elderly be
    punished?”
    “How much anger do I
    feel when I think of
    financial predators?”

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  20. WE CAN OFTEN CONFUSE
    FEELINGS FOR KNOWLEDGE

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  21. KNOWLEDGE
    THE KNOWLEDGE ILLUSION

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  22. EXERCISE: DRAW A BIKE

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  23. KNOWLEDGE IS SHALLOW
    “BY DESIGN”

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  24. OUR BRAINS COULD NOT FUNCTION
    IF WE WERE AWARE OF HOW MUCH WE DON’T KNOW

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  25. THE KNOWLEDGE ILLUSION
    THE KNOWLEDGE ILLUSION
    “...strong feelings about issues do not
    emerge from deep understanding...
    but it deepens as more people
    believe this together”

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  26. BELIEVING
    (FEELING)
    TOGETHER

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  27. FAKE NEWS SPREAD
    SOURCE: THE ATLANTIC

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  28. “It seems to be pretty clear that false information
    outperforms true information,” said Soroush
    Vosoughi, a data scientist at MIT who has studied
    fake news since 2013 and who led this study. “And
    that is not just because of bots. It might have
    something to do with human nature.”

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  29. A TALE OF TWO STORIES
    THEN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL DONALD TRUMP
    FLIES CRITICALLY ILL CHILD ANDREW TEN
    FROM CALIFORNIA TO NEW YORK IN HIS
    PRIVATE JET FOR TREATMENT
    OBITUARY FROM DONALD TRUMP’S DECEASED
    COUSIN IMPLORES THE PUBLIC NOT TO VOTE
    FOR THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

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  30. A TALE OF TWO STORIES
    THEN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL DONALD TRUMP
    FLIES CRITICALLY ILL CHILD ANDREW TEN
    FROM CALIFORNIA TO NEW YORK IN HIS
    PRIVATE JET FOR TREATMENT

    OBITUARY FROM DONALD TRUMP’S DECEASED
    COUSIN IMPLORES THE PUBLIC NOT TO VOTE
    FOR THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

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  31. FAKE NEWS STORIES OUTPERFORM
    TRUE STORIES BY ABOUT 6X

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  32. FAKE NEWS STORIES ELICIT A
    STRONG EMOTIONAL RESPONSE

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  33. THE HATE CLICK
    SOURCE: ScreenCrush

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  34. CAN WE DISPROVE FAKE NEWS?

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  35. EXERCISE: DRAW A BIKE
    EXPLAIN POLICY

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  36. GREAT! LET’S DO THAT!

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  37. TURNS OUT PEOPLE
    DON’T LIKE FEELING DUMB

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  38. “For some of our participants, checking
    out the other bubble only confirmed their
    commitment to staying inside their
    own.”

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  39. “A GOOD LEADER MUST BE ABLE TO
    HELP PEOPLE REALIZE THEIR IGNORANCE
    WITHOUT MAKING THEM FEEL STUPID”

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  40. THIS IS WHERE TECH COMES IN!

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  41. FUTUREOFFAKENEWS.COM

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  42. SOURCE: @arsduo

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  43. WE NEED TO TAKE GREATER OWNERSHIP
    OF OUR PRODUCTS / TOOLS

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  44. SOURCE: VANITY FAIR

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  45. “You can’t tell your advertisers that you
    can target users down to the tiniest pixel
    but then throw your hands up before the
    politicians and say your machines can’t
    figure out if bad actors are using your
    platform.”
    —Jessica Powell

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  46. PERSPECTIVE API

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  47. SOURCE: Forbes

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  48. THE OPPORTUNITY IS OUT THERE

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