New Research: Identity, Not Content, Influences Social Media Behavior

New MIT study on identity cues shows it’s not what is said, but who says it that matters

Photo by Akshar Dave🌻 on Unsplash

Based on two years of data, the study finds that verification leads social media users to much more quickly amplify posts, regardless of their actual substance.

The presence of identity cues also caused viewers to evaluate content faster, implying greater reliance on initial “knee-jerk” reactions and System I thinking rather than longer, deliberative, System II thinking, Aral said.

Elon Musk

“Rich-get-richer dynamics and inequality in social content evaluation are mediated by identity cues, which caused people to vote on content faster, and according to content producers’ reputations,” the research concludes.



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