Online communication biases upon the public perception of science
Last week's issue of Science included a perspective piece by my UW colleagues Dominique Brossard and Dietram A. Scheufele, from Life Science Communication . They focus on the impact of technology and internet communication on the public understanding of science.
People find information online today very differently from the way people used to find information, whether from the traditional printed press or in libraries. Information in broad, authoritative works such as encyclopedias, textbooks or indexes involved highly selective editing by humans, moderated by expert opinion. A reader looking in any printed encyclopedia would be likely to see the same basic facts and be directed to the same essential references.
Now, computer algorithms do much of this job by tracking what people choose to look at after they have searched for a topic or keyword.
One of the more interesting things I've read lately. Frightening that comments on an article which as they describe it in the blog are often "troll ghettos" can have such influence.