Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The digital age makes a tiger

It is often said that if something is repeated to an individual enough times, the individual will believe it, regardless of evidence. This particular incident is called "Three men make a tiger" fallacy.  This idea explains the scenario in which the chances of an individual believing a statement increase the more they hear the statement. This fallacy is increasing becoming a nuisance as mass media explores the digital era. The increased relevance of this fallacy becomes evident as social media sites like facebook create echo chambers and communication through texts and other forms of digital messaging become the norm. 
In the wake of presidential candidate Donald Trump's surprising victory over Hillary Clinton, many individuals were left baffled at the results. As websites like facebook continue to pack news feeds with content and articles that cater to the specific beliefs of the individual, personal pages become echo chambers in the only content exposed to users was beliefs and ideologies they showed in. This bias news feed repeats content to users over and over again, in this case liberals only see liberal articles and conservatives only see conservative articles. If we take a look at the three men make a tiger fallacy, we can see why certain individuals were so surprised that their candidate lost. These echo chambers create a flaw in belief similar to the flaw seen in this fallacy. 

News travels from individual to individual through communication at a rate consistent with the medium that is used. With the mass communication capabilities of modern texting and messaging, news travels at a faster and more frequent rate. This means that information can reach an individual at a faster rate multiple times through their day. In this scenario, it is simple to observe how the flaw in the fallacy can play out on a grander scale. Without proper evidence but only the repetition from those around the individual, the three men make a tiger fallacy poses a major flaw in mass digital communication. 
It is simple to see how the relevance of the fallacy of three men make tiger. With the increased rate of communication and the echo chambers created by social media, an individual must seek evidence in order to filter facts from fiction. 


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