Julia Kamin / April 27th, 2011 / Tweet
“The family is the cradle of the world’s misinformation.”
Don DeLillo’s insight could now be extended to friends, according to new study.
Kelly Garrett, an Ohio State prof, surveyed Americans about 10 rumors that swirled around the internet during the 2008 elections. Unsurprisingly, Garrett found, Americans came across a lot of rumors online – but they also came across rebuttals, which in the end cancelled out any propensity to fall for the rumors.
But while the 600 surveyed were immune to fabrications on the web, they were not unsusceptible to rumors they received from friends via email. Friends, of course, are trustworthy sources in our eyes. And since our friends tend to hold similar views, we’re unlikely to get emailed equally “trustworthy” rebuttals to balance out the falsehoods.
Garrett’s results suggest that Eli’s concern that personalization algorithms create yet another cradle (or filter bubble) of misinformation is not wholly imagined. While more rumors filter through our friends, and rebuttals get bounced out, we’re increasingly likely to be a misinformed nation.