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Opinion
Cass R. Sunstein

How Facebook Makes Us Dumber

Social media reinforce mistrust and paranoia. (If you believe these alleged "scientists.")
Early-stage social media.

Early-stage social media.

Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Why does misinformation spread so quickly on the social media? Why doesn’t it get corrected? When the truth is so easy to find, why do people accept falsehoods?

A new study focusing on Facebook users provides strong evidence that the explanation is confirmation bias: people’s tendency to seek out information that confirms their beliefs, and to ignore contrary information.