Rumors and Social Networks
AbstractWhy do people spread rumors? This paper studies the transmission of possibly false information---by rational agents who seek the truth. Unbiased agents earn payoffs when a collective decision is correct in that it matches the true state of the world, which is initially unknown. One agent learns the underlying state and chooses whether to send a true or false message to her friends and neighbors who then decide whether or not to transmit it further. The papers hows how a social network can serve as a filter. Agents block messages from parts of the network that contain many biased agents; the messages that circulate may be incorrect but sufficiently informative as to the correct decision.
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Date of creation: Mar 2014
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Bayesian updating ; Rumors ; Misinformation ; Social networks;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-04-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2014-04-11 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-CTA-2014-04-11 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-GER-2014-04-11 (German Papers)
- NEP-MIC-2014-04-11 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-NET-2014-04-11 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2014-04-11 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-URE-2014-04-11 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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