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It involves irresponsibility, not politics, sharing most of the misinformation

It involves irresponsibility, not politics, sharing most of the misinformation


you don’t need to research to find out how widespread misinformation is on social media; quick search “ vaccines“Edo”climate change”He will confirm. The more compelling question is why. It is clear that at least there are contributions from the organizers misinformation campaigns, gallant and dubious political parties algorithms. Beyond that, there are still a lot of people who choose to share things that would show that even a brief study would be rubbish. What motivates them?

That was the question that motivated a small group of international researchers, a group of U.S. residents who decided to study what news to share. Their results let us not suggest that some of the standard factors that people point out when explaining the tsunami of inadequate information — inability to evaluate information and partisan bias — do not have as much of an impact as most of us believe. Instead, a lot of guilt is directed at people not paying much attention.

The researchers conducted quite a few similar experiments to get the details of the misinformation sharing. They collected panels from participants in the United States, either through Mechanical Turk, or through a survey population that provided a more representative sample of the U.S.. Each panel had hundreds of more than 1,000 people and the results were consistent across different experiments, so there was a level of data reproduction.

To conduct the experiments, the researchers collected some headlines and phrases from news stories shared on social media. The set was mixed equally between the headlines that were clearly true and clearly false, and each of these categories was again split between pro-Democrat Republicans and pro-Republican supporters.

One thing that was clear is that people in general are capable of judging the accuracy of headlines. There was a 56 percentage point difference in whether a specific title was considered true and the frequency of a false title. People aren’t perfect — they’ve still fixed things wrong — but they’re certainly much better than those who give them credit.

The second thing, it seems, is that ideology is not the main factor in determining whether a headline was correct. People valued headlines that agreed with his policy, but here the difference was only 10 percentage points. That’s significant (both socially and statistically), but it’s certainly not big enough to explain the gap a flood of misinformation.

But when asked if the same people would share these stories themselves, politics played a big role and the truth backfired. The difference in the intention to share truth and falsehood titles was only 6 percentage points. Meanwhile, the difference between whether or not a headline agreed with a person’s policy saw a 20 percent difference. Specifically, the perpetrators refer to the false title “with more than 500 ‘migrant caravans arrested with suicide vests.” Only 16 percent of the Conservative population in the survey rated it as true. But more than half of them were able to sharing on social media.

In general, participants believed that they were more accurate than sharing a fake title that matched their policy. However, surprisingly, when the same population was asked whether it was important to share only the right content on social media, the most common answer was “very important”.

So people can distinguish everything that is accurate and say it’s important to decide what to share. When it comes to making that choice, it seems that accuracy doesn’t matter much. Or, as the researchers said, something about the context of social media shifts people’s attention away from caring for the truth and is directed toward the desire to be liked and express their ideological connection.

To find out if this could be the case, the researchers changed the experiment slightly to remind people of the importance of accuracy. In the amended survey, people were asked to rate the accuracy of the headline of a non-partisan news story, which should make participants more aware of the need and process of these types of trials. Those who received this question did not report an interest in sharing the headlines of fake news, especially when the headlines were in line with their policy. Similar things happened when they were asked about the importance of accuracy before the survey was conducted, and not after.



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