Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Three Men Make a tiger

The Chinese proverb that translates to "Three men make a tiger" is an example of a fallacy that occurs when someone believes in false information as long as enough people start to repeat and spread the lie.  There are many examples of this in the modern world, and it can become increasingly dangerous as more and more people begin to believe in the false information.

In the modern age, communication has taken leaps that no one thought was possible.  Online communication has taken many different forms, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to name a few.  As communication from person to person it vital for this fallacy to progress, these websites instigate and spread misinformation like wildfire.   If a person sees three or four posts about the same subject, whether it is credible or not, they begin to take that information to heart, and are more likely to pass it along on their feed or page.  This is an example of how more and more people can see that information, and therefore pass it along.

An obvious flaw in the fallacy is a flaw in reasoning is that people can begin to believe in completely false information.  One way to prevent this is to read credible, fact checked news when presented with news that seems like it could be wrong.  If this happens, people would be more inclined to spread the real information via the same ways the fallacy spreads its misinformation.

One of the more recent examples could be considered the conundrum with former president Obama's birthplace.  Someone made a claim that he was born outside of the United States, and as it got repeated, more and more people started to believe it.  Even after he presented his birth certificate from Hawaii, people were skeptical and many believed it was faked, prompting another round of "Three men make a tiger."

Another example is the belief in Bigfoot.  While there is no fossil evidence to support the mythical beast, many people have "claimed" to have seen it, and as fake video evidence became widely circulated, using sites such as Facebook or Youtube, more people began to believe.  Even though there is no logical proof that Bigfoot exists, there are still so many people who claim to have seen him.  It is the same case with UFO's and aliens.  Many people claim to have seen UFO's, or been abducted by aliens, with no hard evidence to support their claims.  Even without this evidence, people still have undying faith that these things exists because of the spread of misinformation.

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