New Study Implies Facebook is Making People Narrow-Minded
Now, news and many other sources would tell us that social media has revolutionized the way we communicate with other people. They also say that these are good for marketing. However, the results of a new study claim otherwise – It says that social media only has the tendency to isolate people, where old and erroneous information are repeated over and over again.
The study can be seen in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. The team of researchers from Italy used date modeling to map out two types of content – those that were classified as scientific information and those that were considered as conspiracy theories.
The findings show that people have the tendency to share the same type of information, because people of certain groups think alike. The disturbing fact about this is that it does not matter if the information was absurd to begin with. So how does fake news that spread through social media affect people exactly?
Postdoctoral researcher Alessandro Bessi of the Information Science Institute at the University of Southern California who co-authored the said study says that the research was made to investigate why and how misinformation happens online. The inspiration for the study came after the World Economic forum posted that massive digital misinformation was one of the leading threats to the society.
According to Bessi, users have the tendency to read and recall information that verifies their pre-existing beliefs. In short, most people share information not because these are based on facts, but rather, mostly because they know that their group shares the same opinion, only reinforcing their beliefs through an agreement. This only means that fake news can be spread easily without being checked for truthfulness. This pattern could encourage reckless sharing where people could post on social media without properly examining the content of what is being shared.
Until such a time that there is a way to clean up misinformation, Bessi is urging the public to check for facts before sharing anything on social media.