People tend to share information they know they will enjoy, but if they are told to ignore it or to ignore things they don’t want to read, it can have serious consequences.
In a study published this week in the journal Psychological Science, researchers at the University of Oxford found that sharing information that people know will not be shared in a positive way is a better predictor of shared content being shared.
The researchers found that people who were told to “ignore” the content they didn’t want, and “ignore the people who disagree” were less likely to share it than those who were “in the middle”.
“What we find is that if people are told they can’t share what they want to share, it actually makes them more likely to do so,” says Professor Ben Goldacre, lead author of the study.
“In fact, they might be more likely than other people to share things they already like, such as content that they know will be shared, even if they don ‘like’ the content.
It’s quite an interesting idea, and one that we’re going to be continuing to explore in future research.”
What is fake news?
The phrase ‘fake’ has become a commonly used catch-all term to describe articles that are not factual, which may not be factually accurate, or which have been edited or altered to give the appearance of news.
But the Oxford researchers say the term is misleading.
It does not refer to articles that do not have a basis in fact.
Instead, it refers to content that may have been created deliberately to mislead or mislead people into believing that it is news.
The Oxford researchers found evidence that this type of content is widely shared on Facebook.
When they looked at the number of stories shared on Twitter by users that have an account linked to a fake news story, they found that more than three quarters of them had at least one fake news article.
“We believe this may be driven by people who are interested in spreading misinformation, but also people who simply do not like the content, and are looking for something else,” Goldacre said.
“So we think this may explain why we found that the more stories we looked at, the more people were looking for news that was not factual.”
The researchers say they will continue to monitor the impact of fake news on people’s interactions with content on social media.