Thousands of people marched in central Brisbane on Saturday to protest against plans to decriminalize abortion in the state of Queensland.
The demonstrators marched from Queens Gardens in Brisbane’s Central Business District to Speaker’s Corner outside Parliament House, carrying signs that read “Choose Life” and “Pro-Life Pro-Woman”, an epa-efe journalist reported.
The “March for Life” was protesting a proposed bill by the Labour state government, called the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018, which would legalize abortion up to 22 weeks into pregnancy, with allowances made under certain conditions for abortions after that.
Queensland and New South Wales are the only states in Australia that continue to treat abortion as a crime.
The bill is scheduled to be voted on October 16, and Cherish Life, the organization behind the rally, has said it “is imperative that Queenslanders urge their MPs to vote No”, according to a statement by the group.
People who read Facebook’s News Feed that showcases previews of various news articles tend to overestimate their political knowledge and form a strong opinion, says a study.
With approximately half of Internet users using Facebook to access news, the study has important implications for how people learn about politics.
The study, published in the Research and Politics journal, argued that although reading the short article previews provides one with political information, individuals especially those who are motivated to seek emotions think they know more than they actually do.
They tend to form strong opinions and are significantly more likely to overestimate their knowledge.
“Social media can inform audiences, even the little article previews that appear in Facebook’s News Feed. However, with this learning comes a false confidence; some individuals (particularly those motivated by their gut reactions) think they learn more on the issue than they actually do,” Nicolas M. Anspach from the York College of Pennsylvania in the US told PsyPost.com
“This overconfidence might translate to increased political participation, but concern remains over whether social media provides enough information for voters to make fully informed choices,” he added.
In the study, a group of 320 participants read an article from The Washington Post about the safety of genetically modified foods.
Another group of 319 participants read a mock Facebook News Feed containing four article previews, where one preview was about genetically modified foods, while a third group of 351 participants, used as a control, did not read anything.
When tested about their knowledge of the subject, the participants who read the full article answered the most questions correctly, while those who read the News Feed correctly answered only one question more often than the control group on average.
But participants who read the News Feed were more likely to overestimate their knowledge, especially among those motivated to experience strong emotions. (IANS)