People with 'larger social networks' less likely to share 'charitable causes', finds study
People having larger social networks on social media sites like Facebook are less likely to share information about charitable causes, a new research has revealed.
Economist Professor Kimberley Scharf, from the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at the University of Warwick, claims that when people have more friends on a social site like Facebook, the less likely we are to share information about charitable causes, a phenomenon called 'free riding'.
"For example, with Facebook I have friends and my friends have friends. I wanted to see if the number of social connections individuals have affects the way that information about quality of charity provision is diffused, and if it does, what the implications are for total giving," she said.
"Information transmission about giving opportunities is undermined by 'free riding' incentives - I count on other neighbours to convey information and so save on the effort of doing it myself," she added.
Scharf said her study showed there is more giving in smaller, closer-knit groups of individuals who share common interests.
"This is what matters, the closeness of social interactions: large loosely connected groups share information less effectively than smaller, better integrated groups," she said.
She added that social interactions are not always good for giving, as people may share information about worthy causes or good providers, but if there are too many people sharing information, the messages could get lost in the 'noise' of the crowd.