Emotional Appeal: This dog did not dig a hole to be close to a deceased owner

CaptureTL;DR Summary

Making the rounds on FB again today:

“A dog dug a hole in the tomb of his owner, who has just died so he can be close to him. Nothing in the World can Compare with the Love and Loyalty of a Dog for his Friend.”

The story is false.  More here and here. As of today, this has been shared over 8,600 times on FB alone.

The image features a strong emotional connection and the fake story sounds plausible, creating a perfect match for a viral – but false – meme. This item is not really propaganda as there is no specific goal or action. I include it here to illustrate how propaganda uses appeals to emotion to engage our quick acting System 1 thinking. Once we’ve engaged System 1 and settle on a coherent, plausible story we then fall victim to the propagandists message to take some action.

One way to defend yourself against this type of propaganda is to ask yourself, “Could some other explanation be possible?”

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