Jieun Shin’s Research is Referenced in Article on How to Make Social Media Less Viral
Jieun Shin, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Media Production, Management, and Technology assistant professor, is featured in “Ways to Make Social Media Less ‘Viral’” published in the Financial Times on Nov. 23.
Fake news can spread like COVID-19 and social media platforms have options to stop it. Research by several scholars on this topic is referenced in the article including Shin’s 2018 research on how false rumors tend to “mutate” and resurge in zombie-like forms, similar to a virus. Her study, during the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, traced the lifecycle of 17 popular political rumors that had circulated on Twitter.
In the article, Shin said that companies have attempted to mitigate the problem by trying to slow down the movement of content. For instance, Twitter has introduced tools such as “quote tweet,” or asking a user to read an article before retweeting.
“Even just requiring them to pause and think of something to write, makes them less likely to share misinformation,” she said.
She adds, “In early testing, Twitter said it found users clicked on articles they were considering sharing 40 per cent more often if they were asked to read the link. In other words, simple design changes can help stymie ‘super-spreaders’ online.”