Social media “quotable quote” propagation

A topic we have covered before is the prevalence of “famous quotes” said to be by historical figures. Much of the time, there is either no record that the “famous quote” was said by the historical figure or there is proof that the quote came from someone else.

Yet seemingly everyone publishes “quotable quotes” on social media. Here is another example:

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Not surprisingly, this quote originated, in a slightly modified form, from a physicist in 1963 and has nothing to do with Abraham Lincoln. The spin that this came from Abraham Lincoln started in 2008.

Why do people post these quotes on social media? Generally, it seems to be a form of virtue signaling, which, depending on the subject of the quote, can be to let others know that you are witty, an intellectual, you support the statement and what not. The purpose for posting is, obviously, up to each user that posts such quotes and we can only guess as to why a particular person chose to publish a particular quote.

 

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