Information, rumors, and debates impact and shape public opinion. Several concerns have been raised about social influence on the Internet and the outcome that online discussions may have on public perception. The wide availability and diversification of contents combined with the disintermediated access to information allow users to easily find what best fits their world-view. Such a scenario elicits the so-called echo chambers effect i.e., the tendency to form polarized groups of like-minded users. Such a process is driven by confirmation bias: confirmatory information gets accepted even when containing deliberately false claims, while dissenting information is mainly ignored and may act as a backfire effect. Furthermore, information often gets flattened and oversimplified and potential benefits coming from the exposure to different points of view are dramatically reduced. To fight misinformation spreading we need to smooth polarization by designing more efficient communication strategies and accounting for the cognitive determinants behind information consumption.
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