Alexander, in a small suburban town where I live, there was a rumor that our tiny hospital, “taking over the whole of Moscow”. For me it’s the “all of Moscow” and a sign of a fake. And what you primarily pay attention to?

Alexander Arkhipov: By and large, to understand the truth or not what we hear around us, we must not judge the story and the event itself. Well, for example, if I tell you now that Donald trump got sick with coronavirus, you will not be able to check whether it’s true or not, without resorting to other sources. Fake messages is difficult to distinguish from the real thing. But still there are some signs, the totality of which gives grounds to assume that it is likely fake. Emotionalism, the appeal to the maximum spread, no link to a source or an anonymous source, say, “the military wife of a military unit, who told about helicopters, which will be spraying some antiseptic…”.

However, the problem is that those who spread such stories, they often seem very plausible. And according to article 207 of the new law on fake news can only be prosecuted for false information.

how to stop the shaft fakes?

Alexander Arkhipov: This is a long-studied anthropological social phenomenon: in panic situations, people begin to impart any information, in case that proves useful. Suddenly she will warn about danger? And this is normal behavior, it’s like social glue. It glues people.

the Only way to stop fake news – to learn to analyze information, seek additional tools to the analysis of incoming messages, say, parent chat rooms, where most of the fakes. There are already sites that can help you recognize the fake news. For example, on the popular science website of “N+1” we do “Encyclopedia of fakes and rumors”. Us from across the country send in stories, we analyze, for the sources of the fakes.

what I say does not mean that the fakes are not dangerous. But, as a rule, they are the result of panic, not its cause. If people start spreading rumors that the hospital N is much more toxic than say official sources, and this hearing is actively at odds, this means that a large number of people believe in it. And the problem is not the specific “aunt Masha”, which told about it, and that there is a presumption of danger. Ear is the result of panic. It’s about as well as when there is a earthquake, we trying to stop a tsunami wave. It’s pointless. You should be able to prevent an earthquake.

Classic of fakes on the coronavirus – letter “Yura of Wuhan”. Where it came from and how overgrown with details?

Alexander Arkhipov��: a Very revealing story. At the beginning of the epidemic in Wuhan, when it was not yet a worldwide problem, Chinese language appear short texts pseudomedical properties on how to protect themselves from infection. I like to drink a lot of hot water, a lot of the sun and the like. Especially characteristic of its senselessness fragment that the virus dies at a temperature of 26 degrees. The question of how he survives in the human body, a temperature of 36.6? These tips are referenced in “the sister’s son, who works at the hospital in Wuhan”. Fake diverges on Chinese blogs. Then translated into Russian language by using Google translator. From the “sister’s son” turns out “my uncle and nephew”. Well, as Google could, and translated. In this form, the text begins to spread in the Siberian social networks, mainly in the student and parent. The next stage: the story of a varnished, appears more extended and literary variant, where there is the Russian doctor Yuri Klimov from the hospital of Wuhan. Interestingly, in parallel, there is and option in English, but with reference to the American hospital.

People are beginning to add their own tips to the list Yury Klimov. It looks like a letter to uncle Ball home. Remember, Cindy writes from Buttermilk, missing parents, then Sylvester writes that he has “the aching legs, the tail falls off”, and then the dog Ball adds that started to molt. Parents receive this letter, you will fall in utter horror.

There are many versions of the Jura from Wuhan. There are some tips contradict others. For example, in one part of the letter said that the virus lives on the surface of the metal 12 hours, in another he lives only on his hands. Somewhere it is said that is transmitted by airborne droplets, because it’s a virus, but there is advice: gargle with Betadine (antiseptic) – the germs (!) die.

By the way, when the Internet began to laugh about the “26 degrees”, there is a new version of the letter, where 26 was changed to 50.

Why are people spreading this nonsense?

Alexander Arkhipov: People are spreading this kind of text, sometimes without even reading them. The fact that do (from their point of view) the saving action has already been sufficient. And maybe it’ll help someone? It is a psychological grooming to establish social connections. My friends say that when this long passage, reached the “26 degrees”, clutching his head. But all the same he pressed the button “repost”. For them it is an act of protection. “I am the mother of Katya, I want to rescue all of the classmates my daughter, so send those tips in the parent chat. I have a good intention, I do not want to deceive anyone. I text to the end have not read, but then the doctor’s advice, let’s do that!”

of VProwhat is often “share” and what you think is wrong. Someone is important to increase “clicks”, someone does it for the sake of drawing, someone wants to convey to the interlocutors, the degree of danger, he knows exactly what he sends, fiction. There are those who want just to stand out, to increase their symbolic status through the possession of unique information.

Because fake messages are passed along the chain, the motives of each person can be their own. It’s like a locomotive. Each car is coupled to the neighbouring on his own. But the rails on which the composition rushes, this feeling of common danger. Here is an example. April 19 released information about the fine the woman from the city of Asbest for spreading fake news. She told me that the hospital is the infected from the doctor, and the city walk crowd of tourists who do not sit in quarantine after returning from abroad. In my defense said, I am annoyed by people who walk down the street. I wanted them as hard as you can to scare. To sit at home. Yes, the explanation of the proliferation of fakes is different, but there is no one – Dr. Evil, who is deliberately crosses his country by fakes, and people spread them like mindless puppets. People have their own will and very sophisticated psychological mechanism that determines why he presses the button “tripolite”.

By the way, in the journal Science a year and a half ago, an article was published Satoshi Roy and his colleagues from the University of Massachusetts about how people are spreading truthful news and fake. Scientists for 11 years investigated the behavior of Twitter users. Studied retweets 3 million people viewing 126 thousand chains, and found that the fake news travels much faster and deeper. The fake 70 percent more likely to be common than true news.

As a member of the media interested in the fact that my article was read and “share”, I really wonder why is this happening?

Alexander Arkhipov: If the information looks shockingly new and shockingly unpleasant, the likelihood that it “will otrabotat”, increases. It is an ancient evolutionary mechanism: if we are told about the danger, we are warning others, and then start thinking the truth if we heard it. If we are going to first analyze, get eaten by a lion.

From all this it follows that the distribution of fakes likely to be underdeveloped, not prone to the analysis of information and poorly educated?

Alexander Arkhipov: is Not so simple. There are no differences by gender, age, race and education among those promoting fakes or does not. All “share” the news, not checking. But there are experimental data that show that people with high�� level cognitive skills and basic scientific knowledge make it smaller.

Surprisingly, among those who said: no coronoplasty no, there are “churched” people, and absolute atheists. There are those who are leaning towards the idea of conspiracy (elite, doctors, world government, etc.) a Disbelief in the virus, a pandemic, a particularly dangerous disease is the reality of today or during any of the epidemic were they?

Alexander Arkhipov: Let’s remember the year of 1830. A terrible epidemic in Russia. The heavy atmosphere in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, and other major cities. The famous cholera riots. They happen because the people haunting idea: there is no cholera, and people die because the doctors poisoned the poor and indigent by order of the government to reduce the population of the Empire, which need to be fed. The panic was terrible, the people attacked the doctors. Recorded massacres and killings. In the same year, one St. Petersburg official writes to his relatives in a provincial town, a letter. It came to Nicholas I, so enraged the king that he ordered to find the author and interrogation. So the official explains that “doctors, and maybe the French, and the poles could leave the arsenic in the brew of” ordinary people. And these stories occurs a lot. This is very typical conspiracy theory: there is no danger, and fear intentionally perpetuated a certain group of people. It can be “our government”, “foreign government”, “a kind of secret Corporation”, anyone… to get some control and profits.

People are always strongly resist change in their lives. Any attempt on the usual order of things, especially if it hits the economy, causing distrust. There is a sociological concept “not in my back yard” – “not in my backyard”. When something happens far away, we perceive it as an abstract threat. And especially not worried. But when trouble comes close, we start to worry too much, protect your “back yard”. And one of the means of defense is denial. As a rule, colonoscopies is correlated with low economic status of the person and the environment. In social networks in North Ossetia last time, you can read three messages. No virus no. Go home the doctors and inject not a test, and poison. If the hospital a patient dies, the doctors offer family a bribe to record the cause of death of coronavirus. Because then they’ll get a raise. And these texts are born based on the belief that the invented virus danger.

Infogame – worse than a virus. Do you agree?

Alexander Arkhipov: the world health organization considers it the second of the degree of threat after the illness because the spread of unchecked rumors and especially pseudomedicinestheir advice on the type of Jura from Wuhan, prevents the penetration of real information of a medical nature.

Again, I refer to a publication in the journal. Two British doctor in 2019 built a mathematical model that predicts the spread of three infectious diseases, adding to this system also a situation where every sick together with the transmission other bad advice. Do not wash hands or to drink hot water. It turned out that the risk of infection increases by 40 percent. Therefore, the who sees the danger is not even political fakes from the coronavirus – secret weapon, and in such advice.