Related links on Facebook could help correct misinformation
This study experiments with a feature that lists related stories underneath existing posts on Facebook in order to determine whether social media helps reinforce or correct users' misperceptions. In a web-based survey with 524 people recruited from a university, participants viewed separate screens of Facebook user news feeds in which they were presented with posts whose related articles all confirmed the misperception, all refuted the misperception or a mixed condition. Stories focused on attitudes toward GMOs and illness, as well as attitudes toward vaccination and autism. The experimental results suggest that attitudes based on misperceptions about GMOs can be changed via exposure to corrective information on social media. Interestingly, researchers also that, while people decreased their evaluations of related news stories when they contradicted pre-existing beliefs, those stories still changed some attitudes among those who believed the misperception.