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Inside the Echo Chamber

Quattrociocchi, Walter Inside the Echo Chamber. Scientific American, 316 (4). pp. 60-63. ISSN 0036-8733 (2017)

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Despite optimistic talk about “collective intelligence,” the Web has helped create an echo chamber where misinformation thrives. Indeed, the viral spread of hoaxes, conspiracy theories, and other false or baseless information online is one of the most disturbing social trends of the early 21st century. Social scientists are studying this echo chamber by applying computational methods to the traces people leave on Facebook, Twitter and other such outlets. Through this work, they have established that users happily embrace false information as long as it reinforces their preexisting beliefs. Faced with complex global issues, people of all educational levels choose to believe compact—but false—explanations that clearly identify an object of blame. Unfortunately, attempts to debunk false beliefs seem only to reinforce them. Stopping the spread of misinformation is thus a problem with no apparent simple solutions.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1038/scientificamerican0417-60
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Research Area: Computer Science and Applications
Depositing User: Caterina Tangheroni
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2017 08:31
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 08:31
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/3685

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