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Sharers rather than authors more important on social media

SFGate Monday, 20 March 2017
NEW YORK (AP) — The person who shares a news story on social media is more important than the story's actual source in determining whether readers believe it, a study by the Media Insight Project has found. [...] the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute, set up an experiment that found something different. News organizations are keenly interested in research that tracks consumer habits in a rapidly changing media world. Facebook was the top non-television source for election news cited by both supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in last fall's presidential campaign, according to the Pew Research Center. People are increasingly getting news from their social media feeds, and the beliefs of their "friends" determine what they see regularly just like an editor who makes decisions about what goes into a newspaper. Michael Virga, an electrical technician from Colorado Springs, Colorado, participated in the AP survey and said he was more likely to trust articles posted on social media by people he knows. Following postelection concerns about the extent of fake news, Facebook announced measures to make it easier for users to call attention to false news stories they see on their service, and is working with news organizations and fact checkers to examine suspicious stories.
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