Stories About Fibs and Fake News, and 70+ Other Types of Deceit

Lies 24/7. It's hard to keep up with the unending tsunami of falsehoods that greets us each and every day. And, that's just the lies coming from our family and friends. The bigger lies aimed at our communities often make the local and national news, usually under the guise of fact and truth. Without a full-time staff of hundreds of investigative journalists and "lientists" it's impossible for us to catalog every one of these newsworthy alternative facts. However, here we discuss our favorite stories about lying, fake news and "evidence-free" facts.

Our Disinformation and Defamation Epidemic

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Salon’s piece begins: “How did Alex Jones become possible? Because we tolerated “lesser” lies for too long”. While it is undoubtedly the case that the right has been peddling disinformation for many years, I’d say that the left has some … Read more

The Busiest Man in the World

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Glenn Kessler is the Washington Post’s so-called fact checker. He took on the role over a decade ago, and since then has firmly established the Pinocchio scale in the minds of all government watchers and political talking heads. Kessler ranks … Read more

New Songs About Lies, Including You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette

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The fathomless swamp of musical lies just got a little deeper. I added 5 more songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to my definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There are … Read more

The Lies and the Power

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If you’ve followed our current president during his time in office or during his short campaign you’ll know — regardless of political persuasion — that he lies incessantly. Various media outlets have catalogued Trump’s falsehoods since taking office in the Read more

Spotting a Liar – Hint: It’s Not in the Eyes

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You probably learned from your parents that they could spot you lying by watching your eyes. Or, you may have heard that your tiny facial movements will give away your falsehoods. Or, did you once read, in old Cosmo magazine … Read more

Post-Fact Politics and the Pro-Truth-Pledge

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Three sad facts for our post-truth political age. Fact number one: all politicians lie. Fact number two: lying increases the likelihood of a politician getting elected. Fact number three: social media helps spread lies faster and further. Some argue that … Read more

The Golden Age of Lies

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Over the last 12 months or so we — the global population — have entered into a new Golden Age. Some have argued that this is the second Golden Age of television; the first — I’m told — ran … Read more

We’re Human. Therefore We Lie

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A recent feature article in National Geographic explores the science behind our very human lies. Author and National Geographic contributor Yudhijit Bhattacharjee delves into why and how we lie, and offers us some fascinating anecdotes about some highly colorful … Read more

Fake News and the Big Lie

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On February 21, 2017, James McDaniel launched a news website. A couple of weeks later, after careful promotion in social media, his news service was getting over 1 million page views. This is the kind of result that established news … Read more

Fake Businesses on Google

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You have to give credit to scammers, fraudsters and pathological liars. When money is at stake they are nothing if not creative. For example, did you know that thousands of new, fraudulent business listings show up on Google search and … Read more

Combating Fake News

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Interesting to read that billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is spending $100 million to combat fake news. Apparently, Omidyar’s fund aims to tackle the “global trust deficit” by allocating money to projects around the world.

I suspect it’ll take a … Read more

The Benefits of Self-Deception

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Psychologists have long studied the causes and characteristics of deception. In recent times they have had a huge pool of talented liars from which to draw — bankers, mortgage lenders, Enron executives, borrowers, and of course politicians. Now, researchers have … Read more

Sign First — Lie Less

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A recent paper filed with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that we are more likely to be honest if we sign a form before, rather than after, completing it. So, over the coming years look … Read more

The Macedonian Fake News Factory

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Veles is a small city of around 50,000 located in the central hills of the Republic of Macedonia. Until recently the city laid claim to being the second most polluted region in the ex-Yugoslavia. Once home to a famed ceramic … Read more

Fake News: Who’s Too Blame?

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Should we blame the creative originators of fake news, conspiracy theories, disinformation and click-bait hype? Or, should we blame the media for disseminating, spinning and aggrandizing these stories for their own profit or political motives? Or, should we blame us … Read more

The Existential Dangers of the Online Echo Chamber

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The online filter bubble is a natural extension of our preexisting biases, particularly evident in our media consumption. Those of us of a certain age — above 30 years — once purchased (and maybe still do) our favorite paper-based newspapers … Read more

The Conspiracy of Disbelief

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Faux news and hoaxes are a staple of our culture. I suspect that disinformation, fabrications and lies have been around since our ancestors first learned to walk on their hind legs. Researchers know that lying provides a critical personal and Read more

Clicks or Truth

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The internet is a tremendous resource for learning, entertainment and communication. It’s also a vast, accreting blob of misinformation, lies, rumor, exaggeration and just plain bulls**t.

So, is there any hope for those of us who care about fact and … Read more

If it Disagrees With Experiment it is Wrong

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This post’s title belongs to the great physicist and bongo player Richard Feynman. It brings into sharp relief one of the many challenges in our current fractured political discourse — that objective fact is a political tool and scientific Read more

Early Adopters of Inconvenient Truths

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Conspiracy theorists are a small but vocal and influential minority. Their views span the gamut of conspiracy theories: holocaust denial, President Kennedy’s assassination, UFOs, extraterrestrials, Flat Earth, alternate technology suppression, climate change, to name just a handful.

The … Read more

Dishonesty and Intelligence

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Another day, another survey. This time it’s one that links honesty and intelligence. Apparently, the more intelligent you are — as measured by a quick intelligence test — the less likely you’ll be to lie. Fascinatingly, the survey also shows … Read more

Lies By Any Other Name

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Lies_and_the_lying_liarsCertain gestures and facial movements are usually good indicators of a lie in progress. If your boss averts her eyes when she tells you “what a good employee you are”, or if your spouse looks at his finger nails when … Read more

Truthiness 101

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Strangely and ironically it takes a satirist to tell the truth, and of course, academics now study the phenomenon.

From Washington Post:

Nation, our so-called universities are in big trouble, and not just because attending one of them leaves you … Read more

Faux Fashion is More Than Skin-Deep

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Some innovative research shows that we are generally more inclined to cheat others if we are clad in counterfeit designer clothing or carrying faux accessories.

From Scientific American:

Let me tell you the story of my debut into the world … Read more

Corporations As People And the Threat to Truth

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In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations can be treated as people, assigning companies First Amendment rights under the Constitution. So, it’s probably only a matter of time before a real person legally marries (and divorces) a corporation. … Read more