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Our itch to share helps spread Covid-19 misinformation

Our itch to share helps spread Covid-19 misinformation: Study finds social media sharing affects news judgment, but a quick exercise reduces the problem. Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office.

‘The study follows others Rand and Pennycook have conducted about explicitly political news, which similarly suggest that cognitive habits, more so than partisan views, influence the way people judge the accuracy of news stories and lead to the sharing of misinformation. In this study, the scholars wanted to see if readers analyzed Covid-19 stories, and health information, differently than political information. But the results were generally similar to the political-news experiments the researchers have conducted.

“Our results suggest that the life-and-death stakes of Covid-19 do not make people suddenly take accuracy into [greater] account when they’re deciding what to share”’

Source: news.mit.edu

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