It's big news, set to shock, amaze, and entertain the world.
But unfortunately, it's got nothing to do with extraterrestrial stoners melding with Earth's plants.
However, since you're now reading, you'll almost certainly be interested in this research that looked into the clicking and sharing behaviors of social media users reading content (or not) and then sharing it on social media.
We here at IFLS noticed long ago that many of our followers will happily like, share and offer an opinion on an article - all without ever reading it. We're not the only ones to notice this. Last April, NPR shared an article on their Facebook page which asked "Why doesn't America read anymore?". The joke, of course, is that there was no article. They waited to see if their followers would weigh in with an opinion without clicking the link, and they weren't disappointed.
Screenshot courtesy of Gawker
We've been hoping for a chance to try it ourselves, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Yackler had some fun with the same article and managed to fool a bunch of people.
A group of computer scientists at Columbia University and the French National Institute looked into a dataset of over 2.8 million online news articles that were shared via Twitter. The study found that up to 59 percent of links shared on Twitter have never actually been clicked by that person’s followers, suggesting that social media users are more into sharing content than actually clicking on and reading it.