The latest Daily Mail Facebook Scare TM claims that “Using Facebook ‘can lower exam results by up to 20%’“.
In fact, a study found a correlation between Facebook use and lower grade-point average. This doesn’t mean that using Facebook lowers your exam results. As the article itself later admits:
Those who did not use the site also said they devoted more time to studying, spending an average of 88 per cent longer working outside class.
The correlation implies causation fallacy is one of the best known, and this article is a textbook example. The students who work hardest are less likely to have Facebook profiles, for any number of reasons, but that doesn’t mean Facebook played any role in actually lowering students’ scores.