gullible   31

How Teens In The Balkans Are Duping Trump Supporters With Fake News - BuzzFeed News
Right-wingers are more gullible than the left.

[[Over the past year, the Macedonian town of Veles (population 45,000) has experienced a digital gold rush as locals launched at least 140 US politics websites. These sites have American-sounding domain names such as,,,, and They almost all publish aggressively pro-Trump content aimed at conservatives and Trump supporters in the US.
The young Macedonians who run these sites say they don’t care about Donald Trump. They are responding to straightforward economic incentives: As Facebook regularly reveals in earnings reports, a US Facebook user is worth about four times a user outside the US. The fraction-of-a-penny-per-click of US display advertising — a declining market for American publishers — goes a long way in Veles. Several teens and young men who run these sites told BuzzFeed News that they learned the best way to generate traffic is to get their politics stories to spread on Facebook — and the best way to generate shares on Facebook is to publish sensationalist and often false content that caters to Trump supporters.

Their reasons for launching these sites are purely financial, according to the Macedonians with whom BuzzFeed News spoke.
“I started the site for a easy way to make money,” said a 17-year-old who runs a site with four other people. “In Macedonia the economy is very weak and teenagers are not allowed to work, so we need to find creative ways to make some money.

Earlier in the year, some in Veles experimented with left-leaning or pro–Bernie Sanders content, but nothing performed as well on Facebook as Trump content.
“People in America prefer to read news about Trump,” said a Macedonian 16-year-old who operates

For example, the most successful post BuzzFeed News found from a Macedonian site is based on a story from a fake news website. The headline on the story from was “Hillary Clinton In 2013: ‘I Would Like To See People Like Donald Trump Run For Office; They’re Honest And Can’t Be Bought.’” The post is a week old and has racked up an astounding 480,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook. (To put that into perspective, the New York Times’ exclusive story that revealed Donald Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns generated a little more than 175,000 Facebook interactions in a month.)

The people who launched their sites early in 2016 are making the most money, according to the university student. He said a friend of his earns $5,000 per month, “or even $3,000 per day” when he gets a hit on Facebook.

Aside from the allure of easy money, they also have an element of pride that web-savvy people — including teenagers — in a small country like Macedonia can earn money by gaming Facebook, Google, and Americans.
“A good chunk of the world thinks Macedonia is primitive, but that is not true,” the 17-year-old said.]]
fake  news  Macedonia  viral  right  wing  gullible 
november 2016 by dandv
This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News On Facebook - BuzzFeed News
"A BuzzFeed News analysis found that top fake election news stories generated more total engagement on Facebook than top election stories from 19 major news outlets combined.

The biggest mainstream hit in the three months prior to the election came from the Washington Post and had 876,000 engagements. Yet somehow Ending the Fed — a site launched just months earlier with no history on Facebook and likely a very small group of people running it — managed to get more engagement for a false story during that same period."
fake  news  gullible  US  election 
november 2016 by dandv
Humans need to think about becoming less stupid -
These interacting brains have created some curious strategies for getting along. Consider "confirmation bias," now known to be behind some of the dumbest human decisions ever. A simple example: Your reptilian brain gets you to flirt with that sexy lout, even though the rational brain knows better; rather than admit your mistake, you cherry-pick reasons to justify your acts and ignore all contradictory evidence. He did take you to that nice restaurant — even though he was two hours late, and "forgot" his wallet. If we believe something is true (or simply trust the person who's saying it), we believe any argument that "supports" it, even when that argument is obviously false. Don't get me wrong: Our brains are multilayered marvels. They landed an SUV-sized spacecraft on Mars with the grace of a ballerina; they gave us quantum mechanics (and with it, all of our electronic gadgets), relativity (thank it for your GPS); they gave us birth control, democracy, "The Daily Show," Bach, agricu
Summer  2012  August  boomersaurs  Intelligence  brain  notes  gullible 
august 2012 by ahasteve
"Literally Unbelievable"
So awesome! Reactions of people who believed The Onion headlines were real
lol  gullible  from twitter
may 2011 by Davezilla
Wildly successful social engineering
Someone has done some wildly successful social engineering.  Amazing, actually.  I am not talking about the “Robin Sage” social media/social engineering case where a lot of people who should know better gave up a lot of information in a lot of different ways.  That may be interesting (we’ll see when it is presented), but even though some of the results were sensitive, that is building on a lot of prior work.I am talking about the coverage of that story, where the reporting has largely been horrible, gullible, naive crap.  Sorry folks, but yes, that includes coverage from people I like.  If you believe a lot of what you read, you would think that a lot of people were “duped” into following/friending/linking/whatevering Ms. Sage.  This shows a gross lack of understanding of both social networking and the security community- both on the part of the journalists, and to a lesser extent, the researcher.The people who “over-shared” really are a problem, and it may be interesting to see what Thomas Ryan (the person behind Robin Sage) presents at DefCon.  It looks like s/he got a lot of sensitive information from people who should know better- three letter agencies, military, and more.  Interesting, but “people are stupid and gullible” is not really ground-breaking, nor is mining/abusing social networking to prove this point a new idea either.  It does sound like the scope and scale may be noteworthy.  But not new, and being a skeptic, I’m not sure it is newsworthy.Where things fall apart is the nonsense over stories which pretty much proclaim that MILLIONS OF SECURITY PROS DUPED, and point to the number of friends/links/etc. the virtually perky Ms. Sage gathered.  I would like to point out four things:Different people use social networks in different ways.  Just because someone accepts your connection request does not mean they are fooled by you.  They may not even care if you are real or fake.Maybe they (sadly common) think that more connections means they are more important.Maybe they are public figures of some kind, and accept most requests as a matter of policy.  If people are careful with what information they share, there is nothing wrong with this. Nothing. It is voluntary, get over it.  It is how Social Media and Social Networking work for many people.  If you don’t like this approach- don’t use it.The decision to accept may be based on connections offered (via friend-of-a-friend linking) instead of being based on the person making the request.  Again, if you are cautious about what you share, there isn’t a risk here- even if it is a pretty shallow move.  Robin certainly had some interesting friends/links to entice people.  Put another way: Some days, the wingman scores.Once Robin Sage became fairly visible, the drama got interesting and a lot of people began following/linking to the myriad of Robin Sages (yes, there were clones and evil twins, too) just to watch the train wreck.  I was one of these, and like many others I had my suspicions- but didn’t care if she was real, fake, or just another troll, there was entertainment.  People were not duped, they grabbed a beer and some popcorn and watched the show.Robin Sage was called out.  Spotted.  Thoroughly outed.  Many thought “something was fishy”.  Some people did actual research and provided real details.  People had to connect/accept to do the research and confirm their suspicions.  The press almost completely missed this critical point.  They also missed the fact that once this was widely known, even more people connected to and followed Robin to watch the evolving train wreck mentioned in point 2.Mr.. Ryan apparently convinced (socially engineered) much of the media into thinking this was something it wasn’t, then and the result was not journalism, it was an embarrassment.And this is just the worst of it this week.  Half baked ideas, giant (and flawed) leaps of logic, obvious vendor spin, and more were on parade this week.  Maybe it was the heat and no one could think clearly.  Maybe it was Vacation from Healthy Skepticism Week and no one told me.  I don’t know, but I’m not happy about it.Jack[Note: since posting, the question of linking to specific examples has come up. I debated it while writing this post, but in the end I decided that the issue was so pervasive that calling out specific writers or articles would not have been productive.]
Social_Networking  Gullible  Social_Media  "journalism"  Bullshit  from google
july 2010 by versus

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