January 30, 2013 | Filed Under Computers, Inernet, Journalism, Media, Media Bias, Technology, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on
Believing Non-Facts: People Rarely See Corrections or Updates on Internet Stories
-By Warner Todd Huston
A new study finds that when stories on the Internet contain incorrect or misleading information and are later updated with corrections, people rarely see the corrections and go on believing the incorrect information they first read.
The study presented participants with computer documents that contained inaccuracies followed by more documents with the facts corrected with the result that most didn’t inculcate the corrections.
The study conducted at Ohio State University found that people tend to believe what they first read because, according to study co-author R. Kelly Garrett, people “don’t have time” to “systematically evaluate every claim they encounter.”
“Humans aren’t vessels into which you can just pour accurate information,” Garrett said.
“Correcting misperceptions is really a persuasion task. You have to convince people that, while there are competing claims, one claim is clearly more accurate.”
Unfortunately, this is how easy it is to mislead and why left-wingers so often win in the debates of the day. They brazenly mislead with incorrect “facts” and when people later correct them it is too late to get to millions who heard the mischaracterizations and believe them.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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