Reply to post: Re: Captain Disillusion

Will 2023 be the year of dynamite disinfo deepfakes, cooked up by rogue states?

Michael Wojcik Silver badge

Re: Captain Disillusion

In general people are poor at evaluating the provenance and trustworthiness of information. That's true for pretty much everyone in the general case. Some people frequently make a significant effort at evaluating the quality of some of the information they're exposed to; that's about the best we've ever done with the push for "critical thinking".

Evaluating information quality has a large cognitive burden, and also carries opportunity costs – you can only think about so many things in a given interval. So our minds have to make snap judgements most of the time, and the cues people use (which vary, particularly with neurodivergence, but there are a lot of commonalities) can be discovered and instrumentalized.

Photographic and film evidence has always been unreliable, particularly when it shows something the audience wants to believe. Look at the Cottingley fairies, and how those photographs – which most people today would identify as obvious fakes – fooled intelligent but credulous observers such as Doyle.

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