May 27, 2022

Journal Article: “Exposure to Social Engagement Metrics Increases Vulnerability to Misinformation”

The following article was recently published by the Misinformation Review published by the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).


Exposure to Social Engagement Metrics Increases Vulnerability to Misinformation


Mihai Avram
Indiana University

Nicholas Micallef
Center for Cybersecurity, New York University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Sameer Patil
Indiana University
New York University

Filippo Menczer
Indiana University


Misinformation Review
DOI: 10.37016/mr-2020-033


News feeds in virtually all social media platforms include engagement metrics, such as the number of times each post is liked and shared. We find that exposure to these signals increases the vulnerability of users to low-credibility information in a simulated social media feed. This finding has important implications for the design of social media interactions in the post-truth age. To reduce the spread of misinformation, we call for technology platforms to rethink the display of social engagement metrics. Further research is needed to investigate how engagement metrics can be presented without amplifying the spread of low-credibility information.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.