Social Media and Scientific Literacy: Ignorance Distribution in Virtual Cognitive Niches

Author:

Selene Arfini, Tommaso Bertolotti & Lorenzo Magnani

Abstract:

The popularity of social networking websites covering all aspects of life is being mirrored by an increased academic interest, from communication studies to sociological and political investigations. However, surprisingly little has been done in a cognitive and epistemological perspective, that would examine the quality and the belief-generating impact of the information shared on SNS. In this paper we aim at bridging this gap by considering a specific social network website, Facebook.com, as a technological tool enabling users to build virtual cognitive niches (as imagined communities) and distribute informing affordances, which may in turn prove to be deceptive chances.