An author of a satire website "news source" called...wait for it... Dunning-Kruger-Times* recently called Governor Greg Abbott, "one of the dumbest people in the country," and said that he was "filled with joy" when Abbott shared a satirical article to his Twitter- apparently having been duped by the website.

And Commissioner Sid Miller did the exact same thing, with the exact same website- just with a different article.

* if you don't get the joke, "The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias whereby people with low ability, expertise, or experience regarding a type of task or area of knowledge tend to overestimate their ability or knowledge." with edits with edits

Greg Abbott shared a fake article about Garth Brooks getting booed at a fictional country music festival in a fictional Texas town. The author of the article was fictional too- Flagg Eagleton. What is more concerning? That Abbott couldn't recognize a fictional Texas town, or couldn't recognize that Flagg Eagleton was probably not a real person?

Greg Abbott shared the article to his personal Twitter account with the incredibly tired mantra of "Go Woke. Go Broke." and "Garth called his conservative fans a**holes. Good job, Texas." He deleted the tweet after, but of course, plenty of people screenshot the tweet.

Do I think Greg Abbott shared the story because he's dumb? No. I actually think something worse. I think he didn't read the article at all. I think he saw a headline that confirmed his own biases about Garth Brooks and went for it. What's worse? Being dumb or being willfully ignorant of the truth when it doesn't suit you? I let you decide for yourself.

As for Sid Miller, he shared a fake article from the same website on his Facebook, apparently also duped. It was about Kyle Rittenhouse (of dubious fame) taking out a lien on Whoopi Goldberg's house. Sid Miller wrote, "She refuses to pay. He’s within his rights. He seems to be very good at that." Again, I think he just saw a headline that confirmed his already-held beliefs that "Rittenhouse good, Goldberg bad" and just went with it.

Human beings have always had to deal with "fake news"- from myths meant to control populations to propaganda to yellow journalism and now we even have to be wary of AI-generated articles. Now, more than ever, we need to be vigilant with our information literacy. Before you slam the share button- ask yourself- is this a reputable source? Is this likely? Have I seen this story anywhere else? Don't be afraid to follow up with a cursory Google search if anything about what you are reading seems untrue or unlikely. It might save you some embarrassment, or being called, "one of the dumbest people in the country."

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