This article is from the WeChat public account: Mr. L said (ID: lxianshengmiao) , author: Lachel

Whenever there are social hotspots, everyone may encounter a dilemma:

There is too much information. Which ones are trustworthy and which are not? Which is acceptable and which is best to remain skeptical?

I want to use this article to make the issue clear.

What are “good information” and “bad information”?

I have a system for judging information, which is to divide information into “good information” and “bad information.”

What is good information? My definition is: The main purpose of presenting facts is to provide raw materials for your thinking, which can help you better think about and analyze information about problems.

But bad information refers to: Information whose main purpose is to spread itself. For this purpose, it can do whatever it can, such as: encouraging rumors, inciting emotions, provoking alienation, and outputting one-sided views …

In short: the essence of good information is “to provide you with nourishment”, while bad information is “to pursue self-propagation.”

So, obviously, in our lives, we should pursue ingesting good information and avoiding bad information-this is also my main principle for screening and managing information channels.

The reason is simple: good information will help us to “improve ourselves” and obtain more comprehensive information and perspectives, so that we can better “independent thinking”; what bad information does is to replace us to think.

Thus, long-term intake of bad information, Will slowly give up his thinking ability, and turn the brain into someone else’s racetrack.

Two points need to be emphasized here.

First, good information and bad information are classified by nature, not by results.

What do you mean? A piece of information, as long as it is intended to help you understand the facts more comprehensively, even if you eventually find that the facts it presents are wrong, it is also a good piece of information, just a good piece of information that has made a mistake.

Conversely, if a piece of information is logically thin, unilateral, and radical, even if the facts it presents are “fortunately” correct, it cannot be said to be a good piece of information.

Second, what is the relationship between bad news and rumors?

In my definition, rumors are a kind of “bad information”. They also have the characteristics of bad information: in order to spread themselves better, you can fabricate false facts or make assertions lightly, which will stir readers’ panic.

But why should I say “bad information” instead of “rumors” that most people are more familiar with? The reason is simple: Identifying rumors requires knowledge. A person, no matter how clever, has no ability to discern whether a message is a rumor in an area he is not familiar with.

However, we can save the country by curve: Since rumors are bad information and have the characteristics of bad information, then can we also distinguish rumors by distinguishing bad information?

This is one of the purposes of this article.

In life, there is far more bad information than good information

As mentioned earlier, in life, if we want to be a person with independent thinking ability, we should pursue good information and avoid bad information.

Unfortunately, there is far more bad information than good information in the information we come into contact with.

Let’s think about it: After reading most of the content that you usually read, will it make you calmer, prudent and rational, or will it make you more angry, rash, impulsive?

If you haven’t deliberately screened the source of information, it should be the latter for many people.

Why is this happening? There are two main reasons.

The first reason is that there are too few deep media that can produce “good information”, and too many self-media that are keen to produce “bad information”.

What is Deep Media? These are the media that have the ability to investigate social events, do basic fact checks, review information, and produce in-depth content. And for some well-known reasons, our deep media is very rare, and the content is also subject to various restrictions.

When the output of deep media is not enough to meet our information needs, the media has emerged as the times require. According to the data of WeChat Open Class in 2019, the number of public accounts has exceeded 20 million-this is just the public account.

However, the media are not responsible. The same piece of “bad information” placed on deep media will damage its credibility and credibility, so deep media will have a set of monitoring and self-purification mechanisms to ensure the reliability of the content.

But on the media, most of the time, the article is deleted. After a few days, most people will forget about it. It’s really noisy, change your identity, change and become a good guy.

Further, for the media, what is the most important purpose? Is to grab attention. With attention, there is traffic and then income. It can be said that attention is the lifeblood of the media.

Therefore, producing “bad information” and disseminating “bad information” is a low-cost strategy for the media and the benefits are close to infinity. Relying solely on “conscience” is difficult to control effectively.

This has caused “information overload”. Every day, we are on the battlefield, and we are suffering from a variety of headline parties, rumors, emotional bombardment, and weary body and mind.

So, what are some good “deep media” in China? In my personal experience, the following media are okay and worth a look:

Caixin, Sanlian, Finance, Surging, Interface, Beijing News, Nandu.

Only list what I see much, no ranking.

Human nature is also the soil of bad information

The above is just one aspect. Another reason is “the desire to struggle” rooted in the depths of human nature.

Open Zhihu, Weibo, Toutiao, public account, and so on … Such comments abound:

“Which side is your butt?”

“Wash well”

“The landlord is a friendly army, don’t accidentally hurt”

Any words, with a strong smell of radon and gunpowder.

I call this discourse system “struggle narrative.” What kind of logic does it imply?

Discussion is a war, the purpose is to win; the one who agrees with me is the friend, the one who disagrees with is the enemy, treat the enemy with a bombardment, step on it completely, and keep it from turning.

Is this really the case?

This construction is obviously ridiculous. If you think about it, you will know: The viewpoint of “I” is not necessarily right, and the viewpoint opposite to me is not necessarily wrong. Reaching a consensus brings both sides closer to the “comprehensive truth.”

But why do so many people immerse themselves in “struggle narrative”? This has nothing to do with the crowd, it is a universal phenomenon.

There is a principle in social psychology: people have “group bias”. What does that mean? We always classify people who are similar to us in some respects as “similar”; and people other than the same as “heterogeneous.”

Once the same and heterogeneous (in-group and out-group) have been divided, the following is what follows: unite the same, attack Cutting heterogeneous.

This is called “Social Identity Theory” (Social Identity Theory).

For example: When two people are arguing “Where is South and North better”, are they really talking about North-South differences? Many times it is not.

Taking the southerner as an example, the psychological activity he experienced may be like this:

1) Right seat: I am a Southerner. Assign yourself to a “homogeneous” group.

2) Exclude aliens: You are a northerner. Thus, the opposition between “Southern” and “Northern” is divided.

3) Outperform each other: I want to prove that “South is better than North”, not because I really think South is better, but because I want to prove that “We are better than you”-so that I have “I win Through you “experience.

You will find that there are a lot of “bad information” that are used, in fact, this is the point:

  • Are you a woman? I tell you, a lot of problems are not your problems, but the problems of men!

  • You live a life of 996? Actually it’s not your problem, it’s you being exploited by your boss!

  • You have a bad relationship with your family? It doesn’t matter, many people are like this, let’s come to the anti-antigenic family together …

    First let you check in, comfort you “you have no problems” (same) , then tell you “They are your enemy” “Yes Their question “ (heterogeneous) , then you will naturally have a feeling of” fighting with enemies “and be provoked.

    How deep is this “group bias”? Experiments by psychologist Tajfel et al. Found that even a group of children who randomly grouped them to play games can observe a similar phenomenon: they will be more tolerant of “people in the same group” and “people in other groups” It will be more demanding-even if there is no competition between the groups.

    So why do people have such prejudices? This goes back to evolutionary psychology. In primitive times, people could only survive if they formed tribes. Therefore, only individuals who are “loyal to the tribe”Can reproduce and spread their genes. Those who are not, have been extinct.

    Therefore, it can be said that everyone has the seeds of “Party Tongren Di Fa” in their hearts. What bad information has to do is to ignite them, incite them, let them take root and germinate and spark.

    So it’s obvious: if good information is to pursue rational neutrality, then this seed must be suppressed; but bad information has no scruples. It can incite your emotions to the greatest extent, stir up the opposition between the two parties, and thus benefit the fishermen .

    This is why bad information far outweighs good information in terms of communication.

    How to distinguish “bad information”?

    So much said, how can we tell bad information?

    As mentioned earlier, the primary purpose of bad information is to stir up emotions by sowing the seeds of “Partners and Diversity”, thereby robbing your attention and letting yourself spread. Then, let us start from this point to thoroughly analyze the possible characteristics of “bad information”.

    If a piece of information meets the following characteristics, then it has a high probability that it is a “bad message.”

    1. Missing facts

    In daily life, most of the information we come into contact with is opinion. For example, various “evaluations”, “attitudes”, “conclusions”, “suggestions”, “perceptions” …

    Not that opinion is bad, opinion is a high concentration of information, which is easier for the brain to understand.

    But all opinions must be based on reliable factual evidence and rigorous logical deduction, otherwise it will be untenable.

    Because bad information seeks to “spread yourself”,Not “spread the facts”, so they don’t spend much time and energy on “fact checking”.

    So, the common patterns of bad information are as follows:

    1) lack of facts

    This is well understood. They are usually comments and critiques on certain social phenomena and social hotspots. Most of the text is:

    First talk about what happened recently, then hold a point, start your own critique, occasionally give some examples of “my side”, “my friend”, “my second grandfather”.

    In vernacular, it’s called “a picture of the beginning, and it all depends on the editor”.

    This mode is also the easiest to distinguish. You just need to ask:

    • Is the event you cited a complete picture of the facts?

    • Are there any statistics on the situation you are talking about?

    • Is your judgment and analysis based on your own opinion or a theoretical basis?

    • Do you come to your own conclusions, or do you have actual cases and literature to support them?

      In most cases, you will find that the answers to these questions are “zero” in the article.

      It can be basically determined that such information is not of much value.

      2) Renyun Yiyun

      This is better than the first, because it has facts, but its facts often cannot be considered.

      Specifically, there are two cases. The first is to provide facts but no source. For example, “research shows” “according to media reports” “I tell a story” …

      What is the strict approach? Research shows, then who did the research? Write it down; media reports, what media and when? Write it down; tell a case, where and when did you see it? Write it down.

      Why do you do that? Because this is convenient for the reader to trace the source and check. If the reader is not convinced by the information you are talking about, or is interested, you need to know more details before you can click on the picture

      But this kind of information is “not welcome” for readers to check. Because their information sources are often hearsay, they have not checked themselves. Therefore, obscuring the source of information is both laziness and a guilty conscience.

      The other is to cite multi-handed information. What is multi-handed information? That is, the information comes out of the source, and after many links of quotation and retelling, finally, it comes to you.

      There is a very simple way to judge this: Look at the screenshots it sends out, whether there are many watermarks superimposed on it.

      Why avoid multi-handed information? Because information is easily distorted during transmission. Take out of context, pass on rumors, false evidence … These situations are too common. It can be said that the risk of distortion is an order of magnitude higher for each additional step in the flow of information.

      A rigorous author is obliged to do “fact checking”. Because he needs to ensure that every fact presented to the reader is accurate and reliable. Instead of leaving the obligation of “fact checking” to the reader.

      If an article, even the information cited in the article, is too lazy to check it, too lazy to find the source and check whether it is distorted, then its reliability and credibility will naturally have a big question mark.

      3) Stand first

      This is the most obscure, advanced, and relatively difficult to distinguish among the three.

      What is its model? There are facts and sources, and they seem logical, rigorous, and almost impeccable-but there is a big problem:

      It often only selects the facts that are “beneficial to itself” and intentionally or unintentionally ignores the negative evidence and opinions.

      This mode is difficult for ordinary people to identify, and I can only tell you based on my experience that this type of information usually has a characteristic:

      In the beginning, you will open up your point of view, and use a lot of facts to prove it, so that you can read it in one breath and feel “very smooth”, and follow the author’s thinking completely.

      In short, there are two points:

      1) It reads very”Cool”;

      2) After reading, what impresses you most is not the facts provided by the article, but the author’s attitude.

      If you read an article that gives you that feeling, then you need to pay attention. It may be the result of the author’s careful deployment and design, just to make you fully accept his logic.

      In contrast, what might a “good message” do? This is likely to happen:

      1) Topic: What kind of topic are we going to discuss today.

      2) Fact: What information did I collect on this topic? Which are square and which are negative.

      3) Analysis: Based on the above facts, what is my judgment and analysis. Explain the idea completely.

      4) Conclusion: What is my final conclusion, and under what conditions and under what assumptions will this conclusion be established?

      In short, a piece of “good information” will be more transparent in the handling of facts, placing the reader in a completely equal position:

      These are the information that I got. Based on this information, I make such a judgment. But at the same time, there are some negative arguments. Let me show you. You can draw your own conclusions based on the information from both parties.

      A good article, you may not feel “cool” and “hearty” when you read it, but it can mobilize your thinking and let you think for yourself and draw conclusions, instead of being restricted by the ideas that others have given you .

      Okay, here, let’s summarize. The first feature of bad information is the absence of facts. In this, from low to high, it can be subdivided into: lack of facts, people and clouds, and stand first.

      How to crack the “absence of fact”? The best way, of course, is to search for relevant information yourself and do “fact check”. But some friends may ask: I read so much information every day, it is impossible to check every one. How to balance it?

      My own experience is: If a piece of information is important to you, and it is important that you want to forward it to the circle of friends and share it with friends, then you may take a step back and take a look:

      What are the facts in the article? Is there a source? Is it reliable? Is there a stand?

      Slowly exercise this abilityForce until it becomes an instinct, an internalized habit.

      This is not only responsible to the people around you, but also to yourself.

      2. Emotional incitement

      Next, let ’s look at the second point.

      The “missing facts” alone will not become a bad message. If it wants to spread itself, it needs an essential step: incite your emotions and let you “act” without thinking.

      In short: If after reading an article, your first reaction is to fill your indignation, or you are very excited, then, before you share the repost, you might as well step back and ask yourself:

      Am I caught in the emotion it wants me to have?

      Of course, I’m not telling you: articles that make you emotional are bad news. Definitely not. Where is the key point here?

      • Good information treats you as an individual who can talk to each other on an equal footing, so it certainly won’t refuse to let you “think”.

      • But bad information, it will treat you as a tool for communication, so it will plunge you into full emotions, which will make you lose your ability to think.

        We know that the brain can be divided into “emotional brain” and “rational brain”. The emotional brain is the limbic system centered on the amygdala and is responsible for emotions; the rational brain is the neocortex centered on the frontal lobe and is responsible for thinking. What is the relationship between the two? Inhibit each other.

        In other words: when the emotional brain is activated, the rational brain will be temporarily suppressed; in turn, when the rational brain is activated, our emotional level will decrease and become less impulsive.

        So bad informationThe way is: by activating your emotional brain, your rational brain will be suppressed, which will temporarily lose the ability of rational thinking, and let you become the carrier of their transmission.

        And the good news is that it activates your rational brain, so even if you have emotions, you will calm yourself down through the activation of thinking and think “Is this article right?” “I can believe ? “” What should I do? “

        These problems are the ones that “bad information” do not want you to think about.

        For example. If bad information wants you to spread it, it may draw conclusions with fierce language and guide you to action:

        “I am out of anger! If you are a conscientious person, please speak!”

        It will yell at you and ask you to do it right away, immediately.

        But good information is restrained because it knows that you are an independent individual, it should not dominate you, and your behavior should be determined by yourself.

        It may say: “You may be very excited after reading here, calm down first, I suggest you can do this … the reason is … the purpose is … if you agree, please consider my suggestion.”

        It will treat you as an individual capable of equal dialogue and independent thinking, telling you: Now, the information is here, I hope you do, but whether you want to listen to me depends on you. Please take responsibility for your actions.

        So how do you tell this?

        It’s actually very simple. If an article is full of rhetorical questions, parallelisms, exclamation marks, and various slogan-style short sentences; if you read an article, your first reaction is to be angry and emotional, then ask yourself :

        Am I trapped in an “emotional trap”?

        With just this question, you can immediately activate the rational brain and suppress the emotional brain, so as to get rid of the shackles of emotion and better examine this article.

        Many times, rationality and irrationality are just such a difference.

        3. Simple assertions

        In a previous article, a message asked me:

        Entire articleIsn’t it all your speculation that it is “may” or “maybe”? Why can such articles be issued?

        In fact, this is a lack of scientific literacy.

        Why do you say that? Because scientific thinking is exactly “a piece of evidence to speak a piece of words.” A rational, scientific person, even if the evidence at hand is very sufficient, he can clearly realize:

        What I am talking about is my guess based on evidence. It may be close to the truth, but no matter how close it is, there is the possibility of “I am wrong.”

        That is to say, unless I’m telling the truth, as long as I’m presenting an opinion, it must be “very likely” and never “definitely”.

        So, if you read some scientific and rigorous articles, you will find that there is rarely a positive tone in the articles, and most of the time they are “low risk”, “very likely” “very likely” ” No need to worry too much, “and so on.

        In turn, the absolute and affirmative tone is the favorite of “bad information”.

        Why? The reason is simple, because our brains prefer “fluidity.” Compare the following two sentences:

        1) Drug A can treat disease B.

        2) Drug A has significantly improved some symptoms of disease B. The specific mechanism may be … further clinical trials are currently being planned.

        Which sentence is stricter? Of course it is 2. But think about it, which sentence is easier to spread, easier to be understood, accepted, and believed by the public?

        The brain has a prejudice, like simple, smooth, and powerful. The reason is simple: simplicity and fluency can reduce the consumption of cognitive resources and thus be more convenient for the brain to store; powerful sentences can serve as a warning, telling the brain that “it is important” and therefore easier to remember.

        This is the power of rumors. You will find that any rumor is concise, simple and important, you can understand what it means at a glance, and do n’t take time to think-so it is easier for us to accept and spread .

        This is called a “simple assertion”. Simplicity refers to over-simplification of complex problems and things, replacing complex descriptions and analysis with “can”, “right”, and “good”.

        Assertions mean to take other possibilities across the board and tell you in a positive, absolute tone: Don’t worry, that’s what I said.

        So, if an article is full of inconclusive and unquestionable tone, please give it a question mark and ask:

        Who gave you courage?

        4. Group narrative

        Finally, a simple point, group narrative.

        What do you mean? I said before: The secret of bad information is to let you “seat in the right place”, put yourself in a group, and then stir up the opposition of the group, so that you have “group prejudice”, and thus the impulse to sacrifice with the enemy.

        So, in any case, once someone tries to classify and tag you, tell you: who you are and who your enemies are;

        Once someone tries to get closer to you with words like “We are all …”

        When someone asks you to “pay attention to your position”, “Don’t speak for your opponent,” “You’re right, it’s all the fault of others”-you need to be alert.

        Whether it is gender opposition, labor-management confrontation, geographical opposition, academic qualifications, or even patriotism, entertainment, chain of contempt … All oppositions cannot be separated from the words “Party’s disagreement”.

        Don’t become a pawn of others.

        Remember: you are first and foremost a member of the community.

        Finally, to summarize:

        Bad information generally has the following characteristics: absence of facts, emotional incitement, simple assertions, and group narrative.

        So, I want to ask you a question: if an article meets the 2 points, 3 points, or even all of the above, must it be a “bad message”?

        Now, I give you the right to think.

        Please don’t let it be taken away by others.

        This article is from the WeChat public account: Mr. L said (ID: lxianshengmiao) , author: Lachel