The Verification of Misinformation
Where does misinformation stem from? For the American Scientist, Maxwell Assistant Professor Emily Thorson co-authored a piece in American Scientist answering just this question, relating it to how our brains verify truths, and how falsehoods spread.
“Misinformation—both deliberately promoted and accidentally shared—is perhaps an inevitable part of the world in which we live, but it is not a new problem,” the piece opens. “People likely have lied to one another for roughly as long as verbal communication has existed. Deceiving others can offer an apparent opportunity to gain strategic advantage, to motivate others to action, or even to protect interpersonal bonds. Moreover, people inadvertently have been sharing inaccurate information with one another for thousands of years.”