An American started a fake news website to see how ridiculous a story had to be before Donald Trump supporters realised it was untrue – and ended up concluding that some of them would believe absolutely anything.
Despite aiming to write stories no-one would believe, James McDaniel found Trump supporters who believed that Barack Obama had been plotting a coup from a secret bunker near the White House, and that the British singer Adele had demanded he be jailed for such treachery.
They believed that Obama had tweeted “Trump must be removed as president by any means necessary”, and when one commenter, ‘Truthseeker’, dared suggest the story ‘Obama ran paedophile ring out of White House’ might possibly be fake, he was told: “Really “Truthseeker” if you had ANY clue of the truth, you’d KNOW that Wikileaks hasn’t published ONE thing that has been false. So please use your own mind. Stop listening to MSM [mainstream media] and realize what the TRUTH really is.”
McDaniel started the site believing that visitors would quickly recognize that the over the top stories were clearly bogus.
But that is not what happened.
“When I started this site,” he wrote, “I had no idea that the stories would garner this much attention.
“While writing them, I was aiming for stories that no one would believe, but rather would be satirical in an age where disinformation is so prevalent.
“Just for fun, I decided to post some of the stories in Trump fan groups on Facebook to see the reactions.
“To my surprise, the Trump masses embraced my stories as fact, almost universally. It seemed that there wasn’t anything I could write that was too wild or outrageous to be believed by this particular audience.
“If I wrote about CNN being fake news and connected to ISIS, readers would agree wholeheartedly with my fabricated article. If I wrote about a black liberal or Obama supposedly saying something controversial, the response was unbridled racism and hatred. When I wrote about Hillary Clinton’s new emails that proved she was a child sacrificing maniac, people screamed for her head.”
Well, isn't that chilling?
Essentially this is a form of confirmation bias, however when directed at the folks conditioned to resist all factually based news in favor of devouring one conspiracy theory after another there are no brakes on this runaway train.
I think this really helps to explain HOW people were so easily duped by Donald Trump and his Right Wing news supporters.
And it also explains why your Facebook feed is filled with batshit crazy content from your unhinged Uncle Phil.