Legitimate News or Not? Scientists Find Out Why People Can’t Tell the Difference Between Real News and Satire on Social Media

Researchers at the Ohio State University have found there may be clear downsides to getting news from social media. And not for the reasons you might think.

Researchers found that when people view a blend of news and entertainment through a single portal, through a single social media app they pay less attention to the source of content they consumed. Meaning there is a higher risk for mistaking satire for news or vice versa.

When consuming content that is separated into clearly defined categories (a news section, entertainment section, health and wellness etc.) they didn’t have the same problems deciding on the credibility of the content.

The scientists involved in this research believe they have found a legitimate danger when it comes to people blending news and entertainment viewing on apps like Facebook and Twitter. Researchers stated that while people like that one-stop-shop idea for media content, that jumbling of content makes everything seem the same or equal to us.

The issues is that there is no visual difference on Facebook, for example, between something like the New York Times and a random blog. Everything is the same, color scheme, font, frames etc. So one obvious solution would be for social media companies to develop ways to distinguish content.

Until something like this happens researchers believe that using social media as a one stop shop for content could be reducing positive media literacy behaviors.


OSU Researchers Find Link Between Partisan Media Consumption and Belief in “Fake News”

OSU researchers—through a recent study—now have a new perspective on why people who consume only partisan media outlets are more likely than their peers to believe a false statement about their side’s political opposites.

One debunked cause of such beliefs is the so-called “media bubble” in which a media consumer is exposed only to things they already believe or things that are false. In fact, the study found the strongest indicator of whether or not a consumer would believe a falsehood about their party’s opponent was the level at which the partisan media outlets they use promote hostility against the other party.

The researchers used data from the most recent 2016 and the previous 2012 presidential elections. The study found that US citizens who consumed a heavy dose of partisan media had stronger negative reactions to their political opponents. This dislike was then linked to a stronger likelihood to believe falsehoods or twisted facts about their political opponents.

While the study did suggest that the link between hostility, belief in falsehoods and partisan media consumption was more prominent among Republicans than Democrats, the researchers were quick to note that this was not the focus of the study and that their data alone wasn’t nearly enough to prove such an association.


B1G Football Media Days Coverage

Jody Victor: Here is some great Buckeye football news from OSU.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

CHICAGO — The Big Ten kicked off the 2014 football season Monday afternoon at the Hilton downtown Chiacgo with day one of the annual Big Ten Media Days to preview the upcoming campaign. All 14 schools were in attendance with nearly 600 credentialed media members from around the country.

Buckeye seniors Braxton Miller, Jeff Heuerman and Michael Bennett represented the Buckeyes along with head coach Urban Meyer, who met with reporters and network TV partners for about 6 hours.

Miller, the reigning two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year, was chosen as one of 10 Players to Watch by conference media members. Media do not vote on a preseason champion or player of the year.

Players and coaches will be back at it Tuesday morning with more interviews, photo shoots and autograph sessions followed by the Kickoff Luncheon, which will be hosted by ESPN’s Rece Davis.

Click the links above to view photos from day one and to view Urban Meyer’s opening press conference and transcript.


Jody Victor