How fake news means more fake news
Consumers who diversify their online news streams have lower levels of anxiety over current events than those who use a single source. And in the US, Democrats report feeling more anxious about current events than Republicans, according to new research conducted by the University of Maryland.
The study finds that if a user regularly follows, ‘likes’ and engages with right-leaning news content, algorithms will likely surface yet more conservative, right-leaning news. “Before long, due to user-initiated customisation and algorithmic personalisation, their digital news environment will likely be saturated with content that only explores a narrow viewpoint.”
Researchers also found that respondents with conservative views on partisan issues were more likely to engage in customising behaviours that generate echo chambers for their online news consumption than those who identified as more liberal.
“The amount of information available online will only continue to increase in future years, and therefore it will become critical to provide new ways for new consumers to access diverse content from trustworthy sources without becoming overwhelmed, anxious, or reliant on echo chambers for news and information,” says the study.