The study found that people viewing a blend of news and entertainment on a social media site tended to pay less attention to the source of content they consumed — meaning they could easily mistake satire or fiction for real news. People who viewed content that was clearly separated into categories — such as current affairs and entertainment — didn’t have the same issues evaluating the source and credibility of content they read.
The findings show the dangers of people getting their news from social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. We are drawn to these social media sites because they are one-stop shops for media content, updates from friends and family, and memes or cat pictures. But that jumbling of content makes everything seem the same to us. It makes it harder for us to distinguish what we need to take seriously from that which is only entertainment.
The study appears online in the journal New Media & Society.
The results showed that when the content was not grouped by distinct topics — in other words, news posts appeared on the same page with entertainment posts — participants
— source Ohio State University | Mar 30, 2020