State farm® state of disbelief french model


“Don’t believe everything you read on the internet,” is the modern-day, “Don’t take candy from strangers.”

Everybody has heard it và knows it. Everybody tries to lớn abide by the rule. But everybody has given in to lớn temptation at some point và gotten burned.

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At least I have. I’ve been inebriated by influencers, fooled by giả news, và swindled by bogus hàng hóa reviews.

But I like to think the trial và error has honed my BS detector. And the better I’ve got at not believing everything I read on the internet, the more I’ve realized the strategies are the same as knowing which strangers it’s safe khổng lồ accept candy from.

Here are 9 questions lớn get in the habit of asking yourself. With them, deciding what lớn believe on the mạng internet can be as easy as distinguishing creepy dudes in overcoats from friendly grandmothers.

Ask Yourself This So You Don’t Believe Everything You Read on the Internet

Check for ID and qualifications before buying in.

Who is this stranger?

Check their ID on their about page

Every reputable stranger who’s offering you information on the internet will have an about or profile page. There, you can get an idea of whether they’re a subject matter expert, a reputable news source, a conspiracy theorist, or a random bozo blogger lượt thích me.

If you can’t find this info or you still have doubts, vì chưng a quick Google search of the site or person’s name. The pages that come up should give you an idea of their trustworthiness.

Why are they being so generous?

Figure out why they’re trying khổng lồ feed you information

The internet doesn’t have many sweet old grandma types who altruistically hand out wholesome information. Most info givers have ulterior motives. They either want pageviews for ad revenue, lớn sell your something, or to lớn promote their idea or agenda for their benefit.

Take me for example. My motives are lớn make money from the ads you may see while reading this post and win you over lớn our “live uncomplacently” mission and join our Unconventional Monthly community. So I have some incentive to entertain you to lớn keep you on this site, but little incentive to lie.

That’s not the case on all sites. Uncover those motives lớn decide how much khổng lồ believe what you’re reading on the internet.

The more you want lớn believe what you read on the mạng internet is true, the more careful you should be.

How irresistible is it khổng lồ you?

The more irresistible, the less likely it’s true

Let’s switch analogies momentarily. Information you desperately want khổng lồ be true will look like a refrigerator-sized teddy bear at a carnival. For you, this teddy bear may be:

An easy 7-minute workout that gives you a 6-pack.A study that finds people like you are genetically superior lớn people not lượt thích you.A product review that says buying it will “change your life.”

Beware. The bigger the prize at the carnival, the bigger the likelihood of a scam.

What if you were offered something unappealing instead?

Ask yourself, “What if I read the opposite?” Going back to lớn the previous examples:

The only way khổng lồ get a 6-pack is hours and hours of diet and exercise.A study that finds you’re no more special than anyone else.A product nhận xét that says the hàng hóa you dream of buying is a waste of money.

Would you just a hungrily accept this opposite information? Or would you feel the urge lớn ignore it & disprove it? The latter is a good sign your confirmation bias is messing with your BS detector. Be careful.

Protect yourself from yourself

Your brain’s biases will mess up your decision making beyond deciding what to lớn believe on the internet. Và you can’t stop your brain from doing it. The only way you can protect yourself is to lớn understand what’s happening.

We mô tả some strategies on our post about how to to keep an mở cửa mind. Read the book, Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me), for more detail.

Where does it come from?

Check the ingredients before swallowing

Just because some mạng internet stranger stuffs seemingly trustworthy stories, studies, statistics, or quotes into what they’re telling you doesn’t make it so. There’s a decent chance they have:

Taken their information from an equally dubious source.Sought out data that backs up their message while ignoring anything that goes against it.Stripped a study of all substance & nuance khổng lồ make it into an easily-digestible nugget of unhealthy misinformation.Pulled a quote, statement, or photo completely out of context.Straight up lied.

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Google crucial facts within anything you read on the internet & click the link to get the whole truth straight from the source.

Be extra wary when everyone’s interested.

How many others also want it?

Be extra skeptical about what you read on the mạng internet on mainstream hot topics

Crank up your BS detectors khổng lồ full blast on topics that are the center of attention. Upcoming elections and the current pandemic, for example. When so many people are interested, predators come out in full force to lớn lure innocents with their noxious lollipops or lies.

Conversely, you can relax a bit when you’re looking for information on an esoteric topic. What wigs were made of in the 17th century, for example. It’s not worth predators’ effort to chase after so little prey. Only people who really care about these topics will write about them online.

Stratechery has a good post with more on this topic.

Are there any alternatives?

Look for sources of conflicting information

See if you can’t find another online source that debunks or says the opposite of whatever information someone’s trying to lớn feed you. For example:

A few go-tos

Read through the comments sections, Reddit threads, and negative review to identify arguments against the information you’re tempted by. This input đầu vào can be even less trustworthy than the original sources themselves, but at least they’ll broaden your perspective.

Check with a trusted source if you’re not sure it’s true.

Can you ask a grown-up?

Turn khổng lồ sources of information you can trust

It helps khổng lồ have people and sites you can trust. They’ve often done the fact-checking for you already.

Major media outlets lượt thích the new york Times, NPR, The BBC, The Economist, or Consumer Reports may have covered the topic in question.Find your Oprahs. By that, I mean people whose beliefs, tastes, and principles you identify with. While you may not want to lớn trust them 100 percent, they’re a better place to lớn start than some random stranger.

Is it stale or counterfeit?

Check the dates

Sometimes mạng internet information sources will change or conceal the published date to trick you into thinking the information is fresher than it really is.

Look in the comments khổng lồ see how long the post has really been around. If there are no comments, plug the URL in the Wayback Machine.

Are the images kém chất lượng or unrelated?

People believe what they read on the mạng internet more when it comes to images. Fraudsters know this, so they make kém chất lượng photos or use ones that look like they’re relevant but are from completely unrelated times & places. Bởi vì a Google image search to catch this.

Don’t buy if they don’t have their own images

Only trust product nhận xét sites that have their own photos of the product. Any site that uses stock photos likely never bought và used the product, so their advice is worthless.

Is it safe to lớn share?

Don’t mô tả until you’re sure

It’s bad enough khổng lồ swallow false information from a stranger on the internet. Passing it on to lớn your friends is much worse. You’re endangering them và making yourself look bad.

Only share anything you read on the mạng internet if it comes from a site you have complete faith in or you’ve done heavy due diligence.

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Don’t Believe Me?

In the spirit of not believing everything you read on the internet, here are more resources from more qualified people than me:

Be Careful Out There!

But don’t be too careful. You’ll never learn anything if you don’t believe anything you read on the internet.

Just keep the above questions in mind và practice honing your BS detector. It gets easier the more you bởi vì it. Believe me. (Or don’t.)