Most helpful critical review
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Should have been called "On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread and Why We Believe Them"
on November 5, 2012
This slim little volume purports to explain how rumors disseminate, the reasons why people are inclined to believe them, and what can be done to stop the spread of false rumors. The author succeeds on the first two objectives, using a combination of results of psychology experiments, legal decisions, and real world examples to make his points. On the third objective he falters. He acknowledges that there needs to be a balance between the elusive "chilling factor" that would cause people to think twice before initiating or propagating false rumors and the right to free speech, but in the end seems to conclude that in the age of the internet the victims of falsehoods are screwed. Perhaps he is right, but I was hoping for more concrete ideas in the "what can be done" sections.