(CNN) – While it may seem like social media is a great tool to expand your world, a new study shows that it actually can do just the opposite
According to a team of researchers in Italy, people on social media tend to share content that relates to a specific narrative, even if it’s false. The researchers mapped the spread of conspiracy theories and scientific information on social media.
They found that, instead of sharing content that challenges views, social media users lean towards “confirmation bias”, which is a person’s tendency to search, read and share information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs and it’s not just the conspiracy theorists who do it.
Users that are more scientifically-minded are guilty of confirmation bias as well. That may explain why some family members or friends keep sharing that same article on Facebook or how “fake news” can spread like wildfire.
If you want to avoid sharing misinformation, researchers recommend a simple step, instead of blindly sharing articles, do your own fact-checking before you post that next link.