Facebook has been blamed as the most far-reaching distributor of “fake” news, but a major new study reveals that the social media platform may actually be educating the masses overall.
Researchers at New York and Stanford universities started by inviting nearly 3,000 Facebook users to fill out extensive questionnaires on their daily habits, politics and general mood. They then randomly chose half of these participants to deactivate their accounts for a payment of $102 — the average cost of what participants said it would take to get them to cut off digital access to their social life.
Researchers kept tabs on the test subjects’ profiles to ensure they were not cheating, and about 1 percent of them couldn’t make it the whole month. They also regularly checked in with subjects to assess their mood throughout the study.