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Friday, January 4, 2013

Study: Online comments alter our understanding of science news

The number of article comments in GraniteGeek fell to virtually zero when we switched to a Facebook registration system (conclusion: geeks don't trust Facebook), which is a shame.

Or maybe not ... a study in the journal Science says that the tenor of online comments can alter people's understanding of article about technical or scientific matters. When the comments are negative, readers assume the article was negative, too: "Researchers found that even knowledge of science did not seem to mediate the effects of the comments."

No wonder climate deniers take such effort to jump onto every single article online!

Here's a quick story about the study, spotted via Poynter - which notes the nay-saying attitude of some reader comments on the story itself.