How social media makes it difficult to identify real news

There’s a price to pay when you get your news and political information from the same place you find funny memes and cat pictures, new research suggests.

The study found that people viewing a blend of news and entertainment on a social media site tended to pay less attention to the source of content they consumed – meaning they could easily mistake satire or fiction for real news.

People who viewed content that was clearly separated into categories – such as current affairs and entertainment – didn’t have the same issues evaluating the source and credibility of content they read.

The findings show the dangers of people getting their news from social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, said study author George Pearson, a senior lecturer and research associate in communication at The Ohio State University.

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