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Why Do We Fall For Fake News?

Why Do We Fall For Fake News?

Tune in to this week’s episode of That Fact Check Show, where we try to find out what makes us vulnerable to accepting false information.

Is there something about us that makes us vulnerable to the onslaught of fake news?

Communication and media scientists think there are quite a few of our behavioural traits that have been exploited by both tech giants and fake news campaigners.

Check out our latest episode to know where your weaknesses lie, and what you can do to get your defenses up against misinformation.

Here is an excerpt from this week’s episode:

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Did you know that the government is handing out free solar panels? Yes, yes that is true… it’s not false at all, I swear. All you have to do is provide your bank account and Aadhar details, and your Facebook login ID and password. Free solar panels for everyone!

Wait wait wait wait wait, Hold ON! That was fake news! Did you actually believe that? Don’t worry, you are not the only one!

We spotted a similar message viral on Facebook and WhatsApp, and people were profusely sharing it. Chances are they also provided their very sensitive details to a phishing website, which collects such information for all sorts of scams.

But not everyone of you fell for the fake news I just gave you, right! Congratulations!

It so happens, that on BOOM’s WhatsApp helpline, there were quite a few people who forwarded us this scam of a message, because they had doubted everything it said.

Why is it, that some people fell for this message, while some others could not be convinced?

That is the question that we shall try to answer today.

I’m your host Archis, and you’re listening to That Fact Check Show.

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Archis is a fact-checker and reporter at BOOM. He has previously worked as a journalist for broadsheet newspapers and in communications for a social start-up incubator. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and a Master's in Media and Political Communication from the University of Amsterdam.

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