A new study revealed Monday indicates that 3 in 4 Americans have overinflated views of their ability to spot fake news — and that the worse they are at spotting fake news, the more likely they are to share it, CNN reported.
"The study of surveys involving 8,200 people, which published in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also showed Republicans are more likely to fall for fake news than Democrats are," reported Ryan Prior. "The team, led by Ben Lyons, a professor of communications at the University of Utah, showed study volunteers headlines presented in the format of how news articles would look if they appeared in a Facebook feed. They were also asked to rate their ability to determine whether stories were true."
In the surveys, 90 percent of Americans rated themselves proficient at spotting fake news — but most of them weren't.
"These results paint a worrying picture: The individuals who are least equipped to identify false news content are also the least aware of their own limitations and, therefore, more susceptible to believing it and spreading it further," concluded the researchers. "Though Americans believe confusion caused by false news is extensive, relatively few indicate having seen or shared it."
Fake news has exploded in recent years, with social networks allowing people to efficiently seek out only information that confirms their prior beliefs — often not in the ways people think. The past few years have also seen the rise of QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that says the U.S. is controlled by a cabal of pedophile Satanists.