Dr. Nicholas DiFonzo featured in “Every day is April Fool’s Day on the Internet”, by Herb Weisbaum
April 1, 2013
Could it be? Will Bill Gates really give you $5,000 for sharing a link on Facebook?
Of course not. The email is bogus and so is the picture of Gates holding a sign that purportedly shows him making that promise.
This is just one of an ever-growing collection of email hoaxes that fill in-bins across the world. They’re not scams – no one is trying to steal your money or personal information – they’re just fiction.
Why do so many people accept the bogus messages as fact and forward to others?
“It’s entertaining and it’s socially bonding; something fun that we can share together,” explained Nicholas DiFonzo, professor of psychology at Rochester Institute of Technology and author of The Water Cooler Effect. “The idea of double-checking to make sure that these things are true takes work. And even if it’s not true, it doesn’t seem to hurt anybody.”