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On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Many of us are being misled. Claiming to know the “pals” of presidential aspirants, dark secrets about public officials, and hidden causes of the current economic crisis, those who spread rumors know precisely what they are doing. They are sometimes able to derail political candidates, injure companies and reputations, even damage democratic governance. And in the era of t ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2009)
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عمر الحمادي
كتاب جيد ومختصر في فقه الشائعات يصب في صالح تحطيم صنم نظرية المؤامرة...

وجد عالم النفس "جيب هيث" أن الإشاعات المشمئزة أكثر قابلية للرواج من غيرها مثل الإساءة إلى طفل ضمن شعائر شيطانية أو سلوك جنسي منحرف أو البكتيريا التي تلتهم جسد الإنسان، فكلما استثارت الإشاعة مشاعر الإشمئزاز والغضب والاستفظاع كلما كانت أكثر عرضة للنشر بين الناس ، وهذا ما يسمونه بالانتقاء الانفعالي... وأظهر تنوع كبير من السياقات الاختبارية أن وجهات نظر الناس تصبح أكثر تطرفاً لمجرد تأكيد وجهات نظرهم الأولية ولأنهم تمتعوا بالثقة ب
عبدالرحمن عقاب
بحث جميل وصغير الحجم في مسألة (الإشاعات)؛ دوافع إنشائها وطرق انتشارها، والسبل المتاحة لمقاومتها. ويمكن تعميم هذا البحث ليشمل طرق انتشار الأفكار الجديدة.
يمكن اختصار الكتاب في عشر أو عشرين صفحة، وذلك بسبب تكرار الأمثلة وكثرتها.
قرأت للكاتب قريباً كتابه wiserوقد اشتمل على غالب النقاط التي وردت هنا، خاصة في دراسته لآلية انتشار الإشاعة. مثل آليات التشدد (التطرف الجمعي) والمتواليات المعرفية والإجتماعية.
ولعل من أهم ما في الكتاب هو مراجعته لفكرة مقاومة الإشاعات عن طريق نشر الحقائق، وما قد يتبع ذلك من تع
May 19, 2010 Sheldon rated it it was ok
While essentially an essay, and interesting for the most part, that author fails to convince me of his conclusions. The more interesting and telling part is the discussion on the psychology of rumors, why people accept them, and why they are so difficult to refute. The author then tries to discuss legal cases and statutes in which he implies that a softening of the First Amendment would be best for stopping the spread of falsehood, which I find troubling. A quick read, but one to take with more ...more
Sean Goh
Premise: A well-functioning democracy cannot function unless people are able to say what they think, even if what they think is false. But if people spread false rumours, democracy itself will suffer.
For no good reason people will lose faith in particular leaders and policies, and even in their government itself.
However it is true and important that any attempt to regulate speech will create a 'chilling' effect. People will become more reticent and less willing to speak up for fear of reprisal
Noah Almuhanna
Apr 25, 2016 Noah Almuhanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
رائع وبسيط .. افكاره يجب ان يعرفها كل مهتم بسيكولوجية الشائعات وكيف تنتشر .. يقول الكاتب ان العاملان الاكثر تاثيرا في انتشار الشائعات هما الخوف والمُنى .. عندما نخاف من شيء ما وينتشر خبر عن هذا الشيء نميل الى تصديقه ونشره لتحذير البقية .. وكذلك عندما نتمنى شيئا ما بشدة ونستقبل خبراً يحقق منانا فإننا نميل الى تصديقه ونشره ليفرح البقية الذين يتمنون مثل ما نتمناه ! .. في الحقيقة هذا ما يحصل تماما في كل شائعة .. ويحوي ايضا افكار اخرى في عملية استقطاب الآراء وتاثير الرأي الجمعي .. فقد نجمة لكثرة التك ...more
Khalid Almoghrabi
كتاب يفسر سبب ظهور الشائعات وآليات انتشارها ويقدم عدداً من الامثلة على احداث راهنة. الكتاب بالمجمل جيد وفيه شيء من التحليل الجيد
Jun 15, 2015 Peter rated it it was amazing
An incredibly brief read, but very concise and to the point. Sunstein does a fantastic job of explaining how people are so easily duped into believing falsehoods-namely a combination of peer pressure and a need to have our existing beliefs affirmed, even if the information that does so is patently false. Most distressing is the evidence that when challenges to our misconceptions only strengthen them. It is my hope that this book will empower many readers with a greater capacity for critical thou ...more
Dec 27, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
This slim volume has a lot to say.

I appreciated the gist of this book: rumors have more traction than we sometimes think, particularly in the "echo chambers" of social networks on the internet, and even among the smartest and most earnest of us. This problem can ruin reputations, and destroy families and careers. And I likewise appreciated Sunstein's legal/policy suggestions for what to do to deter rumors, given the damage they leave in their wake.

Still, perhaps because Sunstein attempts to of
Dec 18, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it
i occasionally teach an evening course in applied ethics at a local university. The past two times I used this little book as a required text. I advocate what I might call "epistemological responsibility". Basically, I feel we are responsible for what we know, how we come by our knowledge, how we communicate it to others, and, perhaps most importantly, how we monitor our beliefs and assumptions so as to allow for their correction or adjustment when necessary.

I think the book is a gem by so conc
Jun 17, 2010 Lauren rated it really liked it
This book wins points for the simple fact that it has one of the most accurate titles of any nonfiction book I've read - it's on target, to the point, and the book delivers. I had seen this book at several different stores, and well, the size (it clocks in at under one hundred pages) made me decide to read it. And I'm really glad I did as it's a great book. It is well written and organized, gives the right amount of information, and best of all, is fascinating. There's a definite legal twist (no ...more
Oct 03, 2009 Shinynickel marked it as to-read
Off this review:

On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done
By Cass R. Sunstein (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Recently confirmed “regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein follows up his Going to Extremes with a short but powerful treatise on how misinformation is created and how it spreads through social networks. While there have always been rumors, the internet epitomizes Sunstein’s conditions for their growth and spread. And marrying his expertise as a law scholar and his work
Alex Templeton
Nov 21, 2009 Alex Templeton rated it liked it
Marvin Frankel could teach this in his Deception and Self-Deception course back at SLC! In fact, I kind of wished I had read it back then. The social psych concepts that Sunstein talks about reminded me of all the fascinating stuff I used to learn about and discuss back in the day. The book also was a little dry in its presentation, and the information would have been livened up with seminar discussion, I think. Sunstein's discussion of why people spread and believe falsehoods is compelling, yet ...more
Jonay Beltrán
Jan 17, 2016 Jonay Beltrán rated it really liked it
Cascadas de información y polarización de ideas. Conceptos muy interesantes.
Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Taking as a given that people are wired to find patterns in events to give us security and meaning, but that there have been traditional blocks or speed bumps to information cascade and groupthink--in the form of authority figures, effective censorship, slow moving communications, Sunstein speculates on what this means in a world where messages are spread much more quickly through technological networks, few rebuttals do not backfire and cranks can find each other with the click of a mouse. Plus ...more
Nick Huntington-Klein
Jul 27, 2013 Nick Huntington-Klein rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
I loved Nudge, but this book is far from insightful. I will save you some time: read the title and subtitle, and spend half an hour thinking to yourself about the topic. You've now probably hit all the major points. You can then skip the book and won't miss much, except some legal factoids near the end.
Till Schreiber
Jul 11, 2014 Till Schreiber rated it liked it
Shelves: other
not a book, but long essay. people believe rumors to which they are predisposed. internet makes spreading them easier, repudiation might not work. discussion of legal issues in the end.
Dec 10, 2009 Gerald rated it it was amazing
Fabulous short book (100 pages total) discussing the problems of "rumors" (lies) spread by communication-savvy communicators -- e.g., President Obama is not a native-born citizen, Saddam planned the 911 attacks, Iraq had WMDs, etc. Why people believe them, and what to do about it.
Jonathan-David Jackson
This book was depressing, and the subtitle can be broken down as follows:

How falsehoods spread: everyone is a jerk
Why we believe them: because we're stupid and only listen to what we want to hear
What can be done: nothing

It was interesting though, and I did enjoy it.
Denise Weldon-siviy
Mar 04, 2013 Denise Weldon-siviy rated it did not like it
This had GREAT potential. Then the author threw it away by droning on in suppositions and hypotheticals. Really? Like there aren't enough real people believing completely ridiculous rumors that he could have used to make this interesting and engaging?
Jan 17, 2011 Eric rated it liked it
Interesting little book about the informal channels that shape information as it moves through society. Read the last five pages if you're in a hurry. Then go to earlier in the book for more detail about the points that you're more curious about.
May 28, 2010 Jenna rated it it was ok
It was interesting, but I admit, I found Patricia M. Spack's book on Gossip more interesting, with some similar ideas, though certainly Spacks book is a more historiographical/literary study.
Silvia Romano
Feb 26, 2015 Silvia Romano rated it liked it
Muy actual. Es un libro interesante como punto de partida pero no profundiza demasiado. Lo mas interesante es la bibliografía y las notas.
No pasará a la historia.
Nov 28, 2012 Fares rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب يشرح كيفية انتشار الشائعات بين الناس ومداولتها . أعجبني
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Cass R. Sunstein is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who currently is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. For 27 years, Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago Law School, where he continues to teach as ...more
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“Emotions can get in the way of truth-seeking. People do not process information in a neutral way.” 13 likes
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