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Information Cascades and Fake News

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/04/the-fake-news-fallacy

The social media platform is astonishing because news can we delivered with a simple “post” or “tweet.” As with most things in our world, social media also has cons associated with it. For instance, fake news can spread extremely quickly around the world causing people to believe the inaccurate information. One can see why this might be extremely problematic. Within seconds, individuals around the world can be misinformed.

In this blog, I want to talk about a term that I learned in class Information Cascades and how it can affect many people when it is paired with social media platforms. The Cascades can start very easily, and in fact, they can be based off very little information.

This article above discusses the tweet that got the White House social media director busted for tweeting the fake news. The White House social media director tweeted a video of flooding and claimed that the video is of Miami Int’l Airport being flooded. As we learned in class, Cascades can grow bigger and spread more quickly if the person that is sharing the information is someone who is believed to have a lot of knowledge. In short, the most informed person can easily start a Cascade. Many people would not think twice about questioning the director of social media for the White House.

In conclusion, social media is wonderful because it connects people from all around the world, but it also can be a curse because false information can spread rather easily, especially when claims are made by someone who we perceive as having a great deal of knowledge.

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