Date: January 12, 2016 03:56PM
It's mind-blowing that Mormons can still cling to beliefs that are provably false in the modern era, and for which the evidence is readily available online and elsewhere, but it's also very human. Like many people who adhere to fanatical beliefs, they have been taught to turn a blind eye to uncomfortable facts.
Swap out "conspiracy theory" for "Mormon belief" in this excerpt:
"Diffusion of content generally takes place within clusters of users known as “echo chambers” — polarized communities that tend to consume the same types of information. For instance, a person who shares a conspiracy theory online is typically connected to a network of other users who also tend to consume and share the same types of conspiracy theories. This structure tends to keep the same ideas circulating within communities of people who already subscribe to them, a phenomenon that both reinforces the world view within the community and makes members more resistant to information that doesn’t fit with their beliefs.
The researchers conducted their study by looking at the diffusion of content on Facebook, examining the spread of both conspiracy theories and “alternative, controversial information, often lacking supporting evidence” (for example, the idea that vaccines can cause autism), and scientific news. They found that highly segregated communities, or echo chambers, existed around each type of content, and then content tends to circulate only within its own community.
“I would say that in the spreading of misinformation, online confirmation bias is the driver,” said Walter Quattrociocchi of the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies. Confirmation bias is the tendency of individuals to pay attention to or believe information that confirms the personal values and beliefs they already hold, rather than allowing their beliefs to be changed by new information.
The full article:http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/01/10/how-scientific-misinformation-spreads-through-social-media.html