Is Facebook Making People More Narrow-Minded?

January 8, 2016


Social media has become incredibly important these days, and it impacts every sphere of our lives. Subsequently, a whole new sub-study of the human psyche has evolved out of this modern phenomenon, and many scientists feel the urge to research it.

The newest research focuses on the impact of Facebook, the world’s most popular social media platform, on human behavior and their belief system.

According to the scientists working on this project, users of this social platform seek out information that reinforces their beliefs.

As that reinforcing information is shared, it is given an increase in “weight” – may it be accurate or not.

Allegedly, the social network creates an “echo chamber” in which like-minded people share biased views, controversial theories, and selective news. As the information is repeated back to them, it remains unchallenged and thus, accepted, as a true fact.

The study was based on analyzed Facebook data, consisting of topics people discussed between 2010 and 2014. It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and it caused a lot of controversy because it stated that “users tend to aggregate in communities of interest, which causes reinforcement and fosters confirmation bias, segregation and polarization,” which comes at the expense of the quality of information and “leads to the proliferation of biased narratives fomented by unsubstantiated rumors, mistrust, and paranoia.”