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How comment trolls can influence your opinions

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It's a familiar scene — a science story, published on the internet, is berated with all kinds of trollish comments. Well it turns out that, as crazy as some of those comments may seem, their tone can actually impact how readers feel about the subject of the article. That's according to new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which found that not only can the tone of comments influence how a reader feels about a subject, but the "less civil" that tone, the bigger the impact. And that influence can actually reinforce what readers already believe. As Chris Mooney writes in Mother Jones, "it appeared that pushing people's emotional buttons, through derogatory comments, made them double down on their preexisting beliefs." Be careful what you comment.

The Verge
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