Speaking at a conference for math educators over the weekend, blogger Dan Meyer gave a brief yet eye-opening presentation on how one particular fake news article went viral.
What’s appalling in the example he uses is just how many clues there were for anyone who wanted to debunk the story… and yet the misinformation spread anyway.
The relevant portion begins at the 36:43 mark.
The purpose of his speech was ostensibly to stress to teachers the importance of the question “How do you know?” since nearly every discipline has to deal with that. But it’s also an issue that skeptics face on a regular basis.
We’re in the business of convincing people to listen to reason, and to stop being so damn gullible, and to recognize legitimate news sources from fake ones. As Meyer shows, however, we have a long way to go.