Online 'likes' multiply themselves

Online 'likes' multiply themselves

Social media users swayed by previous ratings

By Cristy Gelling, 10:38 AM August 9, 2013

When rating things online, people tend to follow the herd. A single random “like” can influence a comment’s score at a social news site, researchers report in the Aug. 9 Science.

Users of the site discuss news articles and rate each other’s comments with “up votes” (positive ratings) and “down votes” (negative ratings). Votes affect each comment’s overall score. To test whether previous ratings sway users, Sinan Aral of MIT and colleagues randomly assigned all comments submitted to the site...

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