CITS Director Joe Walther Publishes Article Discussing a Facebook Paradox

CITS Director Joe Walther published a brief article, “Facebook Doesn’t Fool Me, But I worry About How it Affects You,” in The Conversation, an outlet for public interest stories by academic researchers. The article reports an original study showing Facebook users perceive that they, themselves, are less susceptible to Facebook’s influence than the average Facebook user is – a psychological paradox called the “third person effect.” Moreover, the greater the difference between people’s belief in others’ vulnerability to Facebook and their own, the more they support regulating Facebook through laws, policies, and public pressure. It’s an important phenomenon to keep in mind when evaluating McNamee’s and others’ advocacy to regulate social media.