Extant research on social contagion assumes that information spreads as sharers deliberately process external information, then decide whether or not to share it; that is, as each sharer processes this information, s/he is “infected” with new knowledge. We propose that “sharing without reading” represents a distinct phenomenon in which information “carriers” spread content without being infected by it. Evidence from lab experimental studies suggest that sharing without reading leads to increases in subjective, but not objective, knowledge.

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