If you “like” this article on a site like Facebook, somebody who reads it is more likely to approve of it, even if the reporting and writing are not all that great.

“Hype can work,” said one of the researchers, Sinan K. Aral, a professor of information technology and marketing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “and feed on itself as well.”

If people tend to herd together on popular opinions, that could call into question the reliability of “wisdom of the crowd” ratings on Web sites like Yelp or Amazon and perhaps provide marketers with hints on how to bring positive attention to their products

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/science/internet-study-finds-the-persuasive-power-of-like.html?hp&_r=0