The Psychology of Fake News (And What Tech Can Do About It)

045d790f605ea8d482380c5075d802d5?s=47 Cecy C.
April 27, 2018

The Psychology of Fake News (And What Tech Can Do About It)

Fake news is not a tech problem, it’s a human problem. To build the tools necessary to combat fake news, technologists must think differently. We must understand the psychology behind fake news to arrive at a solution that is human-centric and attainable.

045d790f605ea8d482380c5075d802d5?s=128

Cecy C.

April 27, 2018
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Transcript

  1. PSYCHOLOGY OF FAKE NEWS [CECY CORREA // PEERS CONF 2018]

    AND WHAT TECH CAN DO ABOUT IT
  2. None
  3. STILL THE FUTURE...

  4. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PRESENT

  5. HOW DID WE GET HERE?

  6. RESEARCHING FAKE NEWS SINCE 2016

  7. ONE WAY TO LOOK AT IT IS

  8. THE BUBBLE AND ECHO CHAMBER POWERED BY SOCIAL MEDIA

  9. SELECTIVE FEEDS SHOW US ONLY WHAT WE WANT TO SEE

  10. BLOCK OR HIDE ANYTHING WE DON’T WANT TO SEE

  11. LINK PREVIEWS SO WE DON’T HAVE TO READ A FULL

    ARTICLE
  12. CLICKBAIT TO GET PEOPLE TO CLICK ON YOUR ARTICLE

  13. COVERAGE IS NOW BASED ON WHAT WILL GET CLICKS

  14. HOW 2 ESTABLISHED OUTLETS COVER THE SAME STORY SOURCE: @JUDDLEGUM

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

  16. IS THIS A NEW PHENOMENON?

  17. YELLOW JOURNALISM EST. 1890s

  18. IT EXISTS BECAUSE IT WORKS

  19. THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND FAKE NEWS

  20. SYSTEM 1 & SYSTEM 2 THINKING THINKING FAST AND SLOW,

    DANIEL KAHNEMAN
  21. SYSTEM 1 fast, automatic, intuitive

  22. SYSTEM 2 Analytical

  23. beliefs == system 1

  24. why do we believe what we believe?

  25. KNOWLEDGE

  26. EXERCISE: DRAW A BIKE

  27. KNOWLEDGE IS SHALLOW “BY DESIGN”

  28. OUR BRAINS COULD NOT FUNCTION IF WE WERE AWARE OF

    HOW MUCH WE DON’T KNOW
  29. 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”
  30. BELIEVING TOGETHER

  31. THE INFORMATION DIET INFORMATION DIET

  32. INFORMATION YOU AGREE WITH IS STIMULATING (yummy)

  33. INFORMATION YOU DISAGREE WITH IS NOT STIMULATING (yucky)

  34. INFORMATION THAT CONFORMS TO OUR BELIEFS IS EASIER TO DIGEST

    THAN INFORMATION THAT REQUIRES OUR ANALYTICAL MIND
  35. None
  36. AND THAT’S THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FAKE NEWS

  37. IS IT TECH’S FAULT?

  38. [record scratch]

  39. None
  40. None
  41. I KNOW HOW I SOUND...

  42. “A Facebook ‘like’, he said, was their most ‘potent weapon’.

    ‘Because using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert. And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread.’”
  43. SPREAD

  44. FAKE NEWS SPREAD SOURCE: THE ATLANTIC

  45. “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.”
  46. TWO STORIES

  47. 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.
  48. 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. ❌
  49. FAKE NEWS STORIES OUTPERFORM TRUE STORIES BY ABOUT 6X

  50. FAKE NEWS STORIES ILLICIT AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE

  51. ...so is it tech’s fault?

  52. NOT REALLY SORT OF YES!

  53. WE DON’T TAKE THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND PSYCHOLOGY

  54. WE DON’T TAKE THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND ETHICS

  55. WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

  56. WE NEED TO PRIORITIZE TOOLS TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION

  57. SOURCE: VANITY FAIR

  58. WE HAVE TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF OUR PRODUCT DECISIONS

  59. SUPPORT MORE ‘ZEBRA’ COMPANIES

  60. SOURCE: QUARTZ

  61. COMPANIES THAT BALANCE PROFIT & PURPOSE

  62. COMPANIES THAT SOLVE ACTUAL PROBLEMS

  63. None
  64. NEED TO PRIORITIZE TECH LITERACY [outside our own spheres too]

  65. THINK OF BETTER WAYS TO MONETIZE THAN DATA SHARING

  66. NEED EMPATHY

  67. None