Ideological spectra used to be described as a sort of line from left-to-right, with a continuum of ideas in the center.
Nowadays, it would be much more accurately described as a sort of electron cloud, with fact in the middle and a diffuse electron cloud of conspiracy theory-believing gullible folks, each with an individual version of 'the truth', floating out in space (their coordinates determined by the precise collection of poorly- or non-sourced and attributed "news" they are fed from their social media timeline).
I've seen some astonishingly blinkered stuff that is REALLY believed by some people whom I thought were otherwise intelligent. Put something in front of someone in "article" form or junk science video form and it seems like many folks will believe anything.
This has been amazing to see as the internet has become ubiquitous since the late 90's. I think to some extent it has a destabilising effect or undercurrent in society. In many ways it is the result of the failure of education to teach people to think critically, evaluate assumptions, and generally think for themselvs.
"I think to some extent it has a destabilising effect or undercurrent in society."
I agree, and I think this is probably normal, actually. Any time an entire new means of communication occurs like that, a paradigm shift of some magnitude is to be expected.
The creation of the internet is probably on par with the creation of the printing press... or at the very least, radio, television, telegraphy, and telephony.
And with a new means of communication, people will start out naive and gullible. How long after the printing press did it take for someone to coin the phrase "you can't believe everything you read"? I can't imagine that it was less than two generations, at least.
Most people (perhaps except the extremely young) have been conditioned to more-or-less trust things that look like "news." It seems subconsciously beyond the pale to most that something that looks, walks, and quacks like an online news source could be completely false, so we unconsciously give it the benefit of the doubt. Particularly if it's telling us somethng we want to believe, or validates a longstanding fear we've had, or neatly explains something that's always confounded us.
But we'll adjust. Once enough time passes for us to be able to see the red flags of bogus online "news," it will be less of a threat. It might take becoming more cynical and skeptical. The question is... how big will we have to screw up to learn our lesson?