Is the main purpose of social media to spread disinformation? Sure seems so, whether intentional or unintentional.
Yesterday, our local Sheriff’s Office spread disinformation on Twitter with a goal of encouraging safe driving (definitely approve that!) But they did so by using a logical fallacy linking bike and pedestrian accidents to cellular phone usage, a conclusion that is false per the reference they cited in their tweet.
Because viewers of the tweet learned something that was not true, viewers became dumber by reading the message!
On Facebook, a “friend” shared a poster with a quote from a CEO saying he did not want those who voted for a candidate to shop at his stores. Of course, he did not actually say what was in the poster. Yet none of the people in the FB thread bothered to investigate whether the quote was true or not – they accepted it without question – which only reinforced the message! That left viewers of the post dumber than before they had seen it 🙂 Indeed, I posted a link to Snopes and the only reply to that was that Snopes=CNN, therefore, the correct information presented, is not true (which is a logical fallacy unto itself).
Today, I saw this item on Twitter:
It’s true that the Democrat Governor of Montana vetoed “direct primary care” bills – twice, in fact. The last veto was in early 2017. However, in December 2017, the state’s insurance regulator went ahead and approved direct primary care offerings and there are now direct primary care medical practices in Montana.
But those who see and share the above tweet will conclude that DPC is not allowed in Montana. This illustrates how very old information lives on forever on social media. A side effect is that people become dumber by viewing social media!
These are 3 examples from the past 2 days. Obviously, there are many thousands of such examples every day.
Social media usage makes us dumber every day!