The Law of the Few states that 80% of the work will be done by 20% of the population. If ideas are going to spread, it will be up to the Connectors, the Mavens and the Salesman of the world to unleash the idea virus.
Everett Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation confirms that in order to hit a tipping point, you are going to need the help from these early adopters to get the idea to spread.
If you look at the anti-vaccine movement, you can trace it back to just a few.
According to The Center for Countering Digital Hate, 59.2 million followers are associated with only 425 anti-vaccine accounts. That’s it. Out of those 425, 20 accounts make up over two-thirds of the total followers.
To fight the epidemic of misinformation, it isn’t as complicated as we make it out to be. The dark patterns of the internet have allowed for us to get this point and it is costing lives. Like it or not, we can’t just say everything we want. I can’t walk into a church and yell, “Fire!” because causing a panic and an emergency when there isn’t one doesn’t make our culture better.
We live with boundaries and when we agree to live with them society works better. It’s smart when everyone agrees to stop on a red light or not to speed through a school zone. Because we don’t want live in a world where people are killing kids.
Make no mistake, the voices of many are represented by a few. One of the keys to take back our culture is to recognize which voices we give a microphone to. If Wikipedia can figure it out, the rest of us can too.
I highly recommend sitting down and reading CCDH analysis of the anti-vaccine movement and the spread of misinformation. Blown away with their work.