Marijuana Contains "Alien DNA" From Outside Of Our Solar System, NASA Confirms

It's a significant development, surprising, yet fascinating, and captivating for the world. However, unfortunately, it doesn't involve extraterrestrial enthusiasts merging with Earth's flora. Nevertheless, as you're currently perusing, you'll likely be intrigued by this investigation that delved into the clicking and sharing behaviors of social media users consuming content (or not) and subsequently sharing it on social platforms.

I have observed long ago that many of our followers are willing to like, share, and express their thoughts on an article, all without actually reading it. We are not the only ones who have noticed this phenomenon. In April of last year, NPR posted an article on their Facebook page posing the question, "Why is America not reading anymore?" The irony was that there was no actual article to read. NPR wanted to see if their followers would engage and offer opinions without clicking the link, and they were not disappointed.

We have been eager for an opportunity to conduct a similar experiment ourselves, and this situation presented the perfect chance. Yackler also had some fun with the same article and successfully fooled numerous people.

A team of computer scientists from Columbia University and the French National Institute conducted a study using a dataset of over 2.8 million online news articles shared on Twitter.

The research revealed that a staggering 59 percent of links shared on Twitter are never clicked by the individuals' followers, indicating that social media users prioritize sharing content over actually engaging with it.

According to the Washington Post, Arnaud Legout, one of the study's co-authors, stated, "Individuals display a greater inclination to share an article rather than read it. This pattern aligns with contemporary information consumption habits, where people tend to form opinions based on a concise summary or a series of summaries, without investing the time to delve further."

This research delves into the psychology behind individuals' inclination to distribute content. A study conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Group examined the driving forces behind people's desire to share information. Just below half of the participants surveyed stated that they share content on social media to enlighten others and to enrich their lives.

Conversely, the study found that 68 percent of individuals share content to reinforce and project a specific image of themselves, essentially defining their persona. In the words of one participant from the study: "I strive to share information that aligns with the image I wish to portray: thoughtful, rational, kind, and passionate about certain topics."

This also raises the question of whether online media serves as an extensive "echo chamber," where we predominantly engage with pages and perspectives that affirm our existing beliefs, rather than seeking information for its own sake. Even the algorithms employed by social media platforms ensure that content from individuals or pages that we tend to click on, like, or share—often aligning with our own viewpoints—appears more frequently on our News Feed. As an online media user, you are likely well aware of this phenomenon. Just peruse the comments section on social media pages, including, of course, the IFLScience Facebook page. This tendency is particularly noticeable when discussing emotive and controversial subjects such as climate change, GMOs, vaccinations, aliens, and many of our articles on marijuana, where the top comments often reiterate or question something that is explicitly mentioned in the article but may not be reflected in the headline.

A few months ago, when sciencegole published an article about Capuchin monkeys entering the Stone Age, many of the top comments on the Facebook post highlighted that they have been doing so for hundreds of years, despite the article explicitly mentioning this fact. Although our analytics cannot determine which users shared the article without clicking through to read it, there is often a slight discrepancy between the number of shares and page views, particularly on these buzz worthy topics.

Therefore, if you happen to be one of the fortunate individuals who clicked on and read this article, we congratulate you! However, we do apologize for the misleading headline. In the meantime, enjoy sharing the article and observing who engages in discussions on marijuana genetics without actually reading the content.

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