Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
In late 2016, Facebook incorporated fact-checking into its platform and began flagging certain news articles by noting that an article was 'disputed by third-party fact checkers.' Pixabay

You can’t trust yourself to discern what’s true and what’s not when you’re on Facebook as researchers have found that ‘Fake news’ is not easy to spot on the social networking site.

“We all believe that we are better than the average person at detecting fake news, but that’s simply not possible,” said study lead author Patricia Moravec, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas in the US.


“The environment of social media and our own biases make us all much worse than we think,” Moravec added.

For the study, published in the journal Management Information Systems Quarterly, the researchers worked with 80 social media-proficient undergraduate students who first answered 10 questions about their own political beliefs.

Each participant was then fitted with an EEG headset.

The students were asked to read 50 political news headlines presented as they would appear in a Facebook feed and assess their credibility.

Forty of the headlines were evenly divided between true and false, with 10 headlines that were clearly true included as controls: ‘Trump Signs New Executive Order on Immigration’ (clearly true), ‘Nominee to Lead EPA Testifies He’ll Enforce Environmental Laws’ (true), ‘Russian Spies Present at Trump’s Inauguration — Seated on Inauguration Platform’ (false).

The researchers randomly assigned fake news flags among the 40 non-control headlines to see what effect they would have on the participants’ responses.

In late 2016, Facebook incorporated fact-checking into its platform and began flagging certain news articles by noting that an article was ‘disputed by third-party fact checkers.’

The students rated each headline’s believability, credibility and truthfulness.

As they worked through the exercise, the participants spent more time and showed significantly more activity in their frontal cortices — the brain area associated with arousal, memory access and consciousness — when headlines supported their beliefs but were flagged as false.

These reactions of discomfort indicated cognitive dissonance when headlines supporting their beliefs were marked as untrue.

But this dissonance was not enough to make participants change their minds. They overwhelmingly said that headlines conforming with their pre-existing beliefs were true, regardless of whether they were flagged as potentially fake.


You can’t trust yourself to discern what’s true and what’s not when you’re on Facebook as researchers have found that ‘Fake news’ is not easy to spot on the social networking site. Pixabay

The flag did not change their initial response to the headline, even if it did make them pause a moment longer and study it a bit more carefully.

Political affiliation made no difference in their ability to determine what was true or false.

The experiment showed that social media users are highly subject to confirmation bias, the unintentional tendency to gravitate toward and process information that is consistent with existing beliefs, she said.

ALSO READ: Demand For Removal of Twitter’s Blue Tick In India

This can result in decision-making that ignores information that is inconsistent with those beliefs. (IANS)


Popular

People stroll early morning at the Mumbai promenade.

Prior to the brutal second wave of the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cautioned civil services probationers against developing the despised "babu mindset". He gave the invaluable piece of advice while addressing civil services probies at the well-known Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie via video-conferencing. He also outlined the keystone mantra of "minimum government and maximum governance".

With the recent collapse of the under-construction flyover in Bandra Kurla Complex which injured 14 labourers, it seems like the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has got the PM's keystone mantra all wrong. The recent flyover collapse isn't an isolated incident, in fact, a month ago a similarly bemusing incident took place in the eastern part of the suburbs.

Keep Reading Show less
Pixabay

Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere.

Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.

The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Pind Daan at Jagannath Ghat, Kolkata.

The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.

It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.

Keep reading... Show less