Putting “news” in a social content short circuits our brains, turning it into a game of identity.

A research study showed people an obviously false headline (aligned with their politics) in different contexts, news vs. social. When presented with the news version, people said they didn’t think it was true and wouldn’t share it on social because of that. With the social context, the majority said they would share it and then said it was true because they shared it.

Which explains a lot about Twitter, according to their own research they’re very proud of (“94% of people on Twitter express interest in current events”).

The performative nature of social media triggers our desires for belonging and acceptance. And we can play weird mind games on ourselves to achieve that. Like convincing ourselves something is true because we shared it without first deciding if we think it’s true before sharing it.

The transitive property run amok. I shared it which means it must be true which means I shared it because it is true.