Posted April 05, 2019 14:29:00The world is filled with social networks, but they’re not always as trustworthy as we might hope.
A lot of users share links to social networks with their friends, and they do so with the idea that they’ll share the link with their friend if the other person does the same.
They don’t actually share the links, of course.
Instead, the link they share is used as a way to monetize the user’s social profile.
That’s why a new study conducted by research firm Statista and Trend Micro, found that the more frequently people share links on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the more likely they are to share those links with their social networks’ advertisers.
The more they share them, the less likely they’re to be trusted by their friends.
“The more people share the same link, the higher their chance of sharing it with an advertiser is,” Statista co-founder and chief data scientist James McPherson said in a statement.
“This is because people who share the content of their social network are more likely to share that content with their ad network.”
McPherons research team asked over 50,000 users to rate their trustworthiness on a scale of 0 to 5.
Those who shared more links were rated as more trustworthy than those who shared fewer.
For example, when people who shared 1,000 links were asked to rate whether they believed in Santa Claus, only 7 percent of them believed in him.
But when they were asked how many links they had shared with other people, they were more likely than not to say they believed the content.
Statista’s McPhersons team then looked at the number of times people shared those links and compared it to how much trustworthiness they actually had.
They found that when people shared 1-5 links, their trust in the link was worth only a third as much as if they had not shared it at all.
McPhersson said that it’s important to keep in mind that the social networks that users use to share links don’t always provide full transparency about their practices.
That means that a lot of people may share links without realizing it.
It’s not clear that people would be less likely to trust social networks if they knew that they were sharing links without full disclosure, McPetersons co-director of the social network research at Statista, Jessica E. Johnson, said in an email.
“People should be wary of sharing links that they might later use for their own personal gain,” she said.
“But they should also be careful to share any link that they are trusted to share with others, as this may lead to increased trustworthiness.”
This isn’t the first time researchers have found that people are less trusting when they share links they don’t trust.
In fact, Statista has done similar research in the past, finding that sharing links is a more reliable way to gain trust when people don’t have full information about the link than when they do.
But the study was conducted on a small sample of users and does not have enough information to say for sure how effective these tactics are for convincing people to share content.
McPeersons research showed that sharing a link with a friend, a trusted third party or a trusted advertiser actually increased the trustworthiness of the linked content.
The study also found that sharing more links increased trust in an advertisment, even when the link wasn’t a link that was shared with friends or trusted third parties.
That makes sense, because people often rely on other people’s information to make decisions, Johnson said.
“Our data shows that people have a tendency to trust people who have access to their social profiles, but when that information isn’t complete, people may be more likely not to trust them.”