(STUDY FINDS) -- LOS ANGELES — Over the past few years, it’s become quite commonplace to encounter fake news stories. Troublingly, whether it is something as seemingly harmless as a Facebook meme, or a political hit piece with a not-so-subtle agenda, misleading news items have become a fact of life in modern discourse. Now, a new international study finds the more we encounter a particular fake news story, we become steadily more inclined to share the story with others, even if we know it to be false.
Researchers from the University of Southern California and the London Business School say that people may feel less and less unethical and increasingly comfortable sharing a fake news story the more they themselves encounter it online. To put it succinctly, the more we see fake news, the more we accept it as a narrative, even if we know at our core it is simply not true.
The study’s authors say their findings carry heavy implications for social media executives, news organizations, and policymakers attempting to stop the rampant spread of misinformation online.
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