Is Social Influence Detrimental to High-quality Content?

Is Social Influence Detrimental to High-quality Content?

A Story by Gapelian Society

Any PhD Interested in This? Research Needed


Almost all social platforms put a big emphasis on the number of followers you have, the number of “likes” your posts accumulate and the number of times your content is shared by others. There is no doubt the author is interested in knowing all of these statistics, but how do these stats influence the way consumers interact with content, and how do these impact recommendation engines?

It makes sense that recommendation algorithms take into account the number of views or likes. But, does the fact that users already know how many likes a post have, influence the decision of liking or sharing it? This happens on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Youtube…and all of the most visited content-sharing platforms; they all do the same.

But, what if people didn’t want to like something for the first time, or others didn’t want to like something that already has a lot of likes?! If this happens to be true, in one way or another, there is a big flaw on the way platforms recommend content, as people tend to act upon what others do. This hypothesis would argue that almost all leading content platforms do not reward high quality content, but rather, socially influenced interactions.

What if all of these stats were hidden to the consumer, and only available to the author? Would the new “likes” be more representative of truth and personal unbiased opinions?

Any research papers, or articles written around this topic would be useful. Also, this essay takes the chance of testing the “investigative journalism” component in Medium. Thanks!

© 2014 Gapelian Society

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Added on January 28, 2014
Last Updated on January 28, 2014


Gapelian Society
Gapelian Society


Every day, millions of Tweets, Pins, and Facebook posts overtake traditional journalism and media. The Gapelian Society emerges from a group of cultural entrepreneurs who realize the need for a new ki.. more..