I think that people create internet hoaxes to get attention from others and because they know people will usually fall for it. The internet is littered with so much information that it can be very hard to tell what is fake and what is real, especially if you’re not really looking for it. Professor Whitney Phillips recently commented that “human’s don’t always think logically.” So, people don’t keep falling for hoaxes because they’re stupid. They fall for them because they just don’t think about it. When scrolling through social media, I don’t sit there and analyze every post I see. I make a snap decision that leads to me either liking the post or continuing to scroll. People make snap decisions on any post they see, so when they see a hoax post, their first instinct is not to sit and consider what it could mean. Their first instinct is *oh crap, Instagram is gonna screw us all let me do what this post says because I read it fast and made the snap decision.*
— Parker Kincaid (@parker_kincaid) September 9, 2019
This can be harmful to both the users and the platform itself because users trust the platform for a lot of other social news and information. Even credible sources publish and share hoaxes and it becomes a guessing game of what to and what not to believe. There is an element of fear that spreads after the initial snap decision when people start to think more about it and see it more often. As they start to see this hoax (at which point they may not know it’s a hoax) they start to become more skeptical of the platform and what the role it plays in their daily lives.
Imagine you fall in love with someone, buy a house, have a beautiful family and then they post that viral hoax on their Instagram page
— Dave 🌊 (@dave_krugman) August 22, 2019