The Washington Post’s interview with Paul Horner, a purveyor of fake news, is making the rounds today. Although Horner’s statement that he thinks he may have singlehandedly influenced the outcome of the election is being pulled out as the money quote, I think the more telling part of the interview is when he laments the stunning degree to which Trump’s supporters share false stories without the slightest shred of skepticism.
“They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
This gets to the real root of our fake news problem, underscoring that it’s not just a technology problem but a psychology problem. Facebook may provide the platform, but it’s people who do the sharing. The interview is worth a read. Check it out here.