You probably have a contact among your Facebook friends that has shared some of Wolfe’s content, as some of it is quite interesting for people who don’t follow fan pages specialized in science and technology, it could be a post about a weather-proof bag, camping equipment made with top-notch technology, a quote, a motivational unfunded phrase with a false analogy as its premise or a way-too-good-to-be-true bag that makes marshmallows out of thin air.
These kind of posts are what make most of his social media posts, and this is not a simple coincidence, by making a seemingly trustworthy page people who don’t usually fact-check what they share get engaged with him and his content, which sooner or later will include some of his pseudoscientific nonsense that made him famous in skeptic circles a few years ago (which we will be referring to as core content), but, as most of his regular content seems to be true and interesting, people that discovered his page through the “other content” will end up accepting the core content without much questioning.
People tend to trust well composed videos and rich multimedia content that is both visually pleasing and easy to understand, that’s why many sites try to sum up studies in 1 minute videos with stock footage of semi-related things to the topic, that’s why David Wolfe keeps taking content from other creators while just adding his watermark.
Yet, convincing people that his content is worth sharing is not his only reason to keep publishing so many unrelated things, Facebook’s algorithm has been changed many times in the last few years, orienting it into a more profit-centered platform, showing a fanpage’s newest post to a fraction of its followers, asking the administrators of said page pay to get the whole exposure, reason enough to get as many people engaged as possible, because the more a person shares or interacts with a page, the more the algorithm will keep feed him/her with the page’s content.
Now it’s activity time, let’s check how well you’ve learned so far by doing the following activity to create your very own pseudoscientific Facebook fanpage, this is all you need:
- Videos taken from pages like Futurism with your watermark covering the original and credits removed.
- Quotes from famous and successful people.
- Poorly interpreted scientific studies that validate what you promote.
- Outrageous click-bait articles written by yourself about something that is trending. “How this crystal helps you to get more Pokémon per walked kilometer, the developers cannot believe how efficient this method is, hurry up before they patch it”.
- And finally, the post that gets you gullible people’s money, “Did you know that churros are shaped like a 1/11378 of the Earth’s silhouette? You can buy freshly baked non GMO organic churros in here”.