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Here’s How People Generally React To Fake News on Facebook, Twitter

Previous research on how people interact with misinformation asked participants to examine content from a researcher-created account

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fake news
Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, provide people with a lot of information, but it's getting harder and harder to tell what's real and what's not. Pixabay

When it comes to fake news on social media platforms, some users outright ignore it, some take it at face value, some investigate whether it is true and some get suspicious of it but then choose to ignore it.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, provide people with a lot of information, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s real and what’s not.

“We wanted to understand what people do when they encounter fake news or misinformation in their feeds. Do they notice it? What do they do about it?” said senior study author Franziska Roesner, an associate professor at University of Washington in Seattle.

“There are a lot of people who are trying to be good consumers of information and they’re struggling. If we can understand what these people are doing, we might be able to design tools that can help them,” added Roesner in a paper accepted to the 2020 ACM CHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

The team watched 25 participants scroll through their Facebook or Twitter feeds while a Google Chrome extension randomly added debunked content on top of some of the real posts. Participants had various reactions to encountering a fake post.

Previous research on how people interact with misinformation asked participants to examine content from a researcher-created account, not from someone they chose to follow. “That might make people automatically suspicious,” said lead author Christine Geeng, a doctoral student. “We made sure that all the posts looked like they came from people that our participants followed”.

The researchers either installed the extension on the participant’s laptop or the participant logged into their accounts on the researcher’s laptop, which had the extension enabled. The team told the participants that the extension would modify their feeds — the researchers did not say how — and would track their likes and shares during the study — though, in fact, it wasn’t tracking anything.

The extension was removed from participants’ laptops at the end of the study.

Participants could not actually like or share the fake posts.

On Twitter, a “retweet” would share the real content beneath the fake post.

Facebook
When it comes to fake news on social media platforms, some users outright ignore it, some take it at face value, some investigate whether it is true and some get suspicious of it but then choose to ignore it. Pixabay

The one time a participant did retweet content under the fake post, the researchers helped them undo it after the study was over. On Facebook, the like and share buttons didn’t work at all. After the participants encountered all the fake posts — nine for Facebook and seven for Twitter — the researchers stopped the study and explained what was going on.

“Our goal was not to trick participants or to make them feel exposed. We wanted to normalize the difficulty of determining what’s fake and what’s not,” said Geeng. While this study was small, it does provide a framework for how people react to misinformation on social media.

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The researchers can use this as a starting point to seek interventions to help people resist misinformation in their feeds. (IANS)

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Know About Where Do Employees Actually Gaze At During Video Calls

For the study, published in the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, the team compared fixation behaviour in 173 participants under two conditions

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Video Chat
The phenomenon known as "gaze cueing," a powerful signal for orienting attention, is a mechanism that likely plays a role in the developmentally and socially important wonder of "shared" or "joint" attention where a number of people attend to the same object or location. Pixabay

 As more and more people use video conferencing tools to stay connected in social distancing times, neuroscientists from Florida Atlantic University have found that a person’s gaze is altered during tele-communication if they think that the person on the other end of the conversation can see them.

The phenomenon known as “gaze cueing,” a powerful signal for orienting attention, is a mechanism that likely plays a role in the developmentally and socially important wonder of “shared” or “joint” attention where a number of people attend to the same object or location.

“Because gaze direction conveys so much socially relevant information, one’s own gaze behaviour is likely to be affected by whether one’s eyes are visible to a speaker,” said Elan Barenholtz, associate professor of psychology. For example, people may intend to signal that they are paying more attention to a speaker by fixating their face or eyes during a conversation.

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“Conversely, extended eye contact also can be perceived as aggressive and therefore noticing one’s eyes could lead to reduced direct fixation of another’s face or eyes. Indeed, people engage in avoidant eye movements by periodically breaking and reforming eye contact during conversations,” explained Barenholtz.

People are very sensitive to the gaze direction of others and even two-day-old infants prefer faces where the eyes are looking directly back at them. Social distancing across the globe due to coronavirus (COVID-19) has created the need to conduct business “virtually” using Skype, web conferencing, FaceTime and any other means available.

For the study, published in the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, the team compared fixation behaviour in 173 participants under two conditions: one in which the participants believed they were engaging in a real-time interaction and one in which they knew they were watching a pre-recorded

The researchers wanted to know if face fixation would increase in the real-time condition based on the social expectation of facing one’s speaker in order to get attention or if it would lead to greater face avoidance, based on social norms as well as the cognitive demands of encoding the conversation.

Online, Webinar, Teacher, Conferencing, Tutor, Video
As more and more people use video conferencing tools to stay connected in social distancing times, neuroscientists from Florida Atlantic University have found that a person’s gaze is altered during tele-communication if they think that the person on the other end of the conversation can see them. Pixabay

Results showed that participants fixated on the whole face in the real-time condition and significantly less in the pre-recorded condition. In the pre-recorded condition, time spent fixating on the mouth was significantly greater compared to the real-time condition. There were no significant differences in time spent fixating on the eyes between the real-time and the pre-recorded conditions. To simulate a live interaction, the researchers convinced participants that they were engaging in a real-time, two-way video interaction (it was actually pre-recorded).

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When the face was fixated, attention was directed toward the mouth for the greater percentage of time in the pre-recorded condition versus the real-time condition. “Given that encoding and memory have been found to be optimized by fixating the mouth, which was reduced overall in the real-time condition, this suggests that people do not fully optimize for speech encoding in a live interaction,” the authors wrote. (IANS)