|Weekly News Digest
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University of California Reveals the Results of a Study on Fake News
Pamela Madrid writes the following for USC (University of Southern California) News:
USC researchers may have found the biggest influencer in the spread of fake news: social platforms’ structure of rewarding users for habitually sharing information.
The team’s findings, published … by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, upend popular misconceptions that misinformation spreads because users lack the critical thinking skills necessary for discerning truth from falsehood or because their strong political beliefs skew their judgment.
Just 15% of the most habitual news sharers in the research were responsible for spreading about 30% to 40% of the fake news.
The research team from the USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences wondered: What motivates these users? As it turns out, much like any video game, social media has a rewards system that encourages users to stay on their accounts and keep posting and sharing. Users who post and share frequently, especially sensational, eye-catching information, are likely to attract attention.
For more information, read the article.
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