Because it’s very easy to fall into the trap :

Everyone who likes something or detests something is likely to share fake news, especially if it confirms their beliefs. Remember that the primary goal of a person who invents fake news is to deceive us. This person will not invent fake news that leaves everyone indifferent or that concerns a subject that doesn’t interest anyone! Furthermore, it’s easy to fall into the trap of fake news, because it is often very well executed!

It is difficult to identify on the Web !

Before: people obtained their information from a newspaper (or from radio and television). They knew these media and subscribed to them. Even if they bought a gossip rag, they knew it was a gossip rag, and not to be taken too seriously. But now, the boundaries are blurred. This is worrying, because the majority of people now get their information via social media (60% of Americans — Source: Pew Research Study). This complicates things, because as we have seen, true information is side by side with false information on an equal footing on the Web and social media. In addition, creators of fake news arrange to have it look like real news! For example, on the ETF news site, the format and layout closely resemble a real news page.

Because our mind plays tricks on us !

For example, we tend to trust our family, our friends, people we admire (stars, bloggers, etc.). If these people share something on social media, we will tend to believe them more easily.

Also, we tend to accept things more easily that confirm our own beliefs. This makes our life easier. We call these cognitive biases.

Fake news plays on our emotions

People who produce fake news use a foolproof trick, highly prized in advertising: they play on our emotions. They know that, motivated by a strong emotion (surprise, fear, disgust, hatred, contempt, etc.), people are more likely to react and share information.

• The Pope endorses Trump: surprise!

• Evil clowns in Saint-Jérôme: fear!

• A bus full of veiled women: anger!

• An accident because of Pokémon Go: discouragement!

It provokes us to like, share and comment… So that we fall into the trap!