Saturday, January 02, 2016

Social media news consumers at higher risk of 'information bubbles

Public Release: 14-Dec-2015
Social media news consumers at higher risk of 'information bubbles,' IU study says
First large-scale empirical analysis of online news-seeking behavior compares diversity of news found on search, social
Indiana University

Indiana University researchers have found that people who seek out news and information from social media are at higher risk of becoming trapped in a "collective social bubble" compared to using search engines.


"Our analysis shows that people collectively access information from a significantly narrower range of sources on social media compared to search engines."


Overall, the analysis found that people who accessed news on social media scored significantly lower in terms of the diversity of their information sources than users who accessed current information using search engines.

The results show the rise of a "collective social bubble" where news is shared within communities of like-minded individuals, said Nikolov, noting a trend in modern media consumption where "the discovery of information is being transformed from an individual to a social endeavor."

He added that people who adopt this behavior as a coping mechanism for "information overload" may not even be aware they're filtering their access to information by using social media platforms, such as Facebook, where the majority of news stories originate from friends' postings.


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