Hi Rogues. I think what follows might be a very interesting podcast discussion topic because it impacts over a billion people and has high relevance to skeptical thinking, and NO ONE else seems to be covering it.
Have you noticed that in recent months, Facebook has introduced a subtle but very significant change. Now, when you click on a viral story in your newsfeed, read it, and then return to your newsfeed, you will see 3 additional "related" stories that suddenly appear immediately below the original news item. Have you noticed that?
I haven't heard anyone in the media or even my FB friends point out or acknowledge this change, but I think it has potentially very positive social ramifications. Why?? I have noticed that almost invariably, when the original post is from some pseudoscientific source, like Food Babe or her ilk, sensationalizing one form of utter bullshit or another, when I return to the newsfeed, the first of the 3 "newly appended", related stories, is often a story that completely debunks the original? It is often a Snopes entry, or a prestigious source calling out the total nonsense of the original post.
The ramifications of this are obvious, right? Since so many Facebookers live in a bubble, only friending like-minded individuals, they will often share bullshit stories, and only receive positive reinforcement in the comments of the share by equally deluded friends, which serves to perpetuate and reinforce misinformation. By making this change, FB is forcing breaks in the bubbles. People are subtly being trained to not believe the first thing they read, or at least to consider that there may be other perspectives. I think this is significant since so many people practically live on Facebook.
What do you guys think???