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How our brains trick us into believing fake news

The brain can be untrustworthy when it comes to deciphering fake news, and especially when headlines are repeated, presented with photos, or generally easy to imagine, experts from the Australia National University (ANU) have found.

Their findings are outlined in a new open-access eBook The Psychology of Fake News, which analyses the psychological factors that lead us to believe and share misinformation and conspiracy theories and possible interventions to correct false beliefs and reduce the spread.  

Co-editor Dr Eryn Newman, from the ANU College of Health and Medicine, and contributing author Professor Robert Ackland, found we are vulnerable to biases when consuming news and that social networks facilitate fake news dissemination.  

“Stock photos in the media may not only bias people’s assessments of truth but also lead to an inflated feeling of knowledge or memory about a claim they encounter,” Dr Newman said. 

“In our research we have found that people mostly conclude that decorative photos help them understand a claim, or don’t influence their perceptions of truth. Only 10 per cent said they thought a photo added credibility. That is, the influence of photos is rather insidious. 

“While people may be confident in their ability to discern fact from fiction, truth from lies, and real from fake, looking at broader research on eyewitness memory and lie detection we know that detecting truth is fallible and vulnerable to biases we are often unaware of.” 

Even satirical websites such as The Onion or The Borowitz Report can be mistaken for real news.

“What’s concerning is if people miss the satire, decorative photos and other variables such as repetition likely encourage false beliefs for stories that are entertainment, not facts,” Dr Newman said. 

Prof. Ackland said information consumption is becoming more isolating, with the shrinking space between producers and consumers of information online.

“Social media has led to essentially anybody becoming an authority on news distribution, with little fact-checking occurring,” he said. 

“Related to this is the phenomenon of ‘filter bubbles’ where algorithms used by social media companies select new content for users based on their previous engagement with content.

“This reinforces information consumption patterns and it being less likely users are exposed to new information.”

Do you have friends that spread fake news on social media? Have you ever tried correcting them? What response did you get?



Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth

This is why everything has to be checked -- don't take anything at face value


These days every Tom, Dick or Harry is an expert on news, indeed, what they are expert on is their own opinion and the spreading of fake information. Nowadays admittedly, some fake news is presented so cleverly, it is difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff, but it can be done.

I think the reason why most people don’t bother is because they may be just intellectually lazy or they see an opportunity to “confirm” their own beliefs, regardless of how far fetched it may be. Even worse than embracing fake news is spreading it around. Something akin to gossip over the garden fence.

Well said Banjo. May I add the people who are drawn to obvious fake news are the ones who have trouble dealing with their emotions. Fake news hooks in the narrow of minds and the brains that do not want to think for itself. Those are the same people who when they go to a restaurant cannot make up their minds what they want to eat and manage to p**s the waiter off. Anyone interested in a few tips, here you are: 


How to spot fake news

Spot on Banjo

Too many "eggspurts"

Just look at all these interviews called news with panels of eggspurts not experts

A lot of news you can take with a pinch of salt!

If it sounds too good to be true then it usually is!

Did someone mention FAKE NEWS?


Tony meticulously exposes a New York Times article on the global warming SCAM as A STRING OF NOTHING BUT LIES using historical articles from the New York Times itself no less.


Watch and see how alarmist propaganda is trying to fool you into accepting junk climate “science”, carbon taxes and calling for a communist global government to “save the planet”.

One reader comment below this video sticks out like a sore thumb “if these writers from the NYT actually read the NYT/”

Did someone mention fake news?

Seven Ways To Spot Climate Change Propaganda

 ONE: Everything that is going on with weather and climate is normal and not outside historic records as alarmists constantly claim. Therefore, every alarmist claim or story about weather or climate is a deception. One way they do this is through cherry-picking the data. You can pick any part of a record to show a trend to support your story.

 Other stories focus on a pattern or change in a pattern again with the idea that it is new or abnormal. Headlines like this one from 2012, “Why have there been more tornadoes than usual this year?” Often, they are suggestive such as this 2017 New York Times story. “The 2017 Hurricane Season Really Is More Intense Than Normal.” When you read the story, you find, as is usually the case, that the caveats at the end indicate it is not unusual at all. This is irrelevant to the authors who know the only thing the reader will remember is the headline. Notice that headlines are always in the Active Voice unlike the Conditional Voice words like “could,” “maybe,” or “possibly” in the body of the story.

 TWO: In 2004 the perpetrators and perpetuators of the Global Warming deception at the University of East Anglia realized that while CO2 levels continued to rise, but global temperatures stopped increasing. The climate deceivers didn’t skip a beat, they changed the issue from global warming to climate change which is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to disprove because of ambiguity with NATURAL change. In reality, the issue is still only about global warming because that is the only part of the weather affected by CO2.

 THREE: Exploitation of natural fear is central to any attempt to control people.

 FOUR: Mistrust a story the minute it attempts to play on your guilt or emotions. Invariably, it makes you guilty because of claims such as, the children are going to die, some element of the planetary system is collapsing, animals are going extinct, forests are in decline, and coral reefs are dying. Of course, they always distort the animal extinction issue. Actually, many animals are thriving because of human activity, pigeons, snakes, coyotes, rats. The extinction bias is to furry, round-eyed, creatures like polar bears and koala bears.

 FIVE: Taking advantage of a public that is ill-informed about science. They take advantage of this by using terms that people don’t understand or mislabeling things to make them more menacing.  For example, they interchangeably and incorrectly call CO2, which is a gas, Carbon, which is a solid. They incorrectly label carbon dioxide, a pollutant. They make meaningless assertions like “Climate change is real,” or “The science is settled.” One way to put the last comment in perspective is to challenge. Say, “fine, then we should cancel all funding for climate research.”

 SIX: A change of keywords is a sure sign that at least one aspect of their deception was exposed. The classic change discussed earlier was from global warming to climate change. Another change is underway because people are starting to say, hang on a minute, climate changes all the time. There are three contenders for replacement now, “climate chaos,” “climate catastrophe,” and “climate disruptions.”

 SEVEN: Another sign of propaganda is a constant raising of the threat.

“And humankind does not have long to act, according to a study in the journal Nature Geoscience. British and Australian scientists report that they calculated the pattern of temperature rises if immediate action is not taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

 The propaganda war was made necessary from the start because there was no scientific evidence for the claims of environmental collapse and human-caused global warming. Start with a lie, and you either admit it when evidence exposes it, or continue the lie with ever increasing deceptions.


I suggest ChannellingOrwell visits this link apropos Tony Heller aka Steve Goddard. 

Hey Mel,

You should really enjoy this video ..... 

SPLAT! Rationality smashes into fact-free LeftieWarmster hype

I suggest you watch this revealing video ... might help to put things into perspective for you ...

Are Climate Models And The Surface Temperature Record Credible?


Notice how the LeftieLoony changes her story about flooding at about 13 minutes in the video.

First she said the flooding was "unprecedented", then determined to keep lying, she changes to "the flooding is now more frequent"!!! Both statemnets are GARBAGE LIES.

SPLAT! Rationality smashes into fact-free LeftieWarmster hype

Fake news is not a new phenomenon. It’s been around forever, also known as gossip. The internet can be a blessing and a curse. Put a picture beside some outrageous article and those who are so inclined will fall for it. 

Several studies actually found that fake news (or propaganda) reaches more people and spreads more quickly than the truth. Remember what Jack Nicholson said in the film… A Few Good Men.. ”you can’t handle the truth.” What a profound statement, yes, it is true, some people do not want to know the hurts, it makes them think, they don’t want to think, that’s asking too much. But.. they have to believe in something and even a lie will do. A false statement, an empty link that leads to another silly article or comment, anything that comforts them in that particular moment of time.

I’m with George Bernard Shaw when he said “Beware of false knowledge, it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

Don't ever rely on a single source. You might actually get the fake one first time around.

I do 6 comparisons to a subject or more if my gut tells me something isn't kosher.

We can say the same about what the GPs say to you also!

Three times I have been diagnosed with a complaint that was wrong.

The last was  a month ago!   It isn't funny when given drugs you don't need it affects the welfare of ones health and it takes some time to get over it.

Yesterday I was talking to a Prof of medicine and asked him what does the uni teach forgoodness sake, he roared with laughter, he said you have to get yourself a good GP.  LOL

Those three diagnosis were from Specialists!!

So please be careful.

Same goes for getting a Valuation, go for three and take the middle of the road.

Whether it is for a valuation on jewelry or property.

If the climate is changing or not the planet needs desperate HELP -- we are ruining it by allowing trees to be chopped down in the Amazon and many other places -- they are the lungs of the earth -- and we are depleting the wildlife, we are depleting the oceans because we allow these fishermen and the way they  'Bycatch'                                                                  

( the unwanted fish and other marine creatures trapped by commercial fishing nets during fishing for a different species)    So many fish and other marine life are left to die --

Then we have the plastics and the mining/fracking/etc -- this can NOT go on

We have to respect the planet and learn by nature, things are like cogs in a wheel and if one breaks it then breaks another, then another and so it goes on,  and there are quite a few cogs broken now.



PlanB said "we are ruining it by allowing trees to be chopped down" 

HMMM ... as in chopping down trees for "planet-saving" BIOFUEL eh?

 Biomass Plants In The US. 'Biomass' is a euphemism for chopping down & burning of trees for so-called 'renewable' energy