A headline on Slate blares that coffee is murdering your productivity. (If this were true I’d never accomplish anything.) But dig down and the article isn’t from Slate but from some content partner called Inc. Where’d Inc. get its facts? Welp:
So some research done at some point between the beginning of time and now “suggests” some stuff about coffee (something tells me “suggests” is doing a lot of work in that sentence), research that was then summarized (who knows with what accuracy and to what intent) by Joe Q. Corporate on LinkedIn, a platform on which anyone can publish almost literally anything, and that post was then summarized in an Inc. article, which was then boosted onto Slate and tweeted out to the world.
Most internet readers passing by this article will just take the alarm of the headline and move on. But they’re seeing at least the fourth refraction of actual information. This is how untruths are born.