Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

The Diffusion of Ignorance in On-Line Communities

The Diffusion of Ignorance in On-Line Communities
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Author(s): Selene Arfini (University of Chieti and Pescara, Italy), Tommaso Bertolotti (University of Pavia, Italy) and Lorenzo Magnani (University of Pavia, Italy)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 15
Source title: Information Diffusion Management and Knowledge Sharing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0417-8.ch042


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This article aims to investigate how information-sharing mechanisms in online communities favor activities of ignorance distribution on their platforms, such as fake data, biased beliefs, and inaccurate statements. In brief, the authors claim that online communities provide more ways to connect the users to one another rather than to control the quality of the data they share and receive. This, in turn, diminishes the value of fact-checking mechanisms in online news-consumption. The authors contend that while digital environments can stimulate the interest of groups of students and amateurs in scientific and political topics, the diffusion of false, poor, and un-validated data through digital media contributes to the formation of bubbles of shallow understanding in the digitally informed public. In brief, the present article is a philosophical research that applies the virtual niche construction theory to the cognitive behavior of internet users, as it is described by the current psychological, sociological, and anthropological literature.

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