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Daily Debunker: The Art of the Con and Why It Matters

Featured on Snopes today: The psychological tricks used by con artists to deceive us, Joe Biden's claim that he was arrested while visiting Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and more!

Published Feb 26, 2020

What do deceptive memes, deepfake videos, and snake-oil salesmen have in common? They all partake of the “art of the con.”

All con artists, writes Barry M. Mitnick for The Conversation, use strategies that take advantage of human weaknesses, framing stories in ways that appeal to the biases, beliefs, and prominent desires of their targets. These days, you’re more apt to find them plying their trade on social media than door-to-door.

Recognizing and resisting the attempts of bad actors to convince us to believe “alternative facts” are essential skills for navigating today’s information landscape.

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Older man voting at elections, hand putting ballot paper in ballot box.
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