The Perceived Accuracy of Fake News: Mechanisms Facilitating the Spread of Alternative Truths, the Crisis of Informational Objectivity, and the Decline of Trust in Journalistic Narratives

By Massey, Giulia; Kliestikova, Jana et al. | Geopolitics, History and International Relations, July 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

The Perceived Accuracy of Fake News: Mechanisms Facilitating the Spread of Alternative Truths, the Crisis of Informational Objectivity, and the Decline of Trust in Journalistic Narratives


Massey, Giulia, Kliestikova, Jana, Kovacova, Maria, Dengov, , Victor, V, Geopolitics, History and International Relations


1.Introduction

The Internet has curtailed the expense of entry to new participants and subverted the business patterns of established news sources that had been favored with superior degrees of public confidence and validity. Consistent social networks cut down acceptance of alternative opinions, intensify attitudinal polarization (Ariso, 2017; Fabrício, 2016; Mihăilă, 2017; Olssen, 2017; Pera, 2017; Weede, 2016), further the probability of admitting ideologically harmonizing news, and boost obstruction to new information. (Lazer et al., 2018) The Cognitive Reflection Test performance is adversely associated with the perceived veracity of fake news, and positively associated with the capacity to differentiate fake news from real ones, even for headlines connected with readers' political beliefs. (Pennycook and Rand, 2018)

2.Literature Review

Fake news has an elaborately interwoven link with online biased media, both reciprocating and establishing its issue agenda. Evolving news media are somewhat acknowledging the outlines of fake news whose reporting is conflicting (Avram, 2018); Giroux, 2017; Mihăilă and Mateescu, 2017; Popescu, 2017) and becoming more self-governing topically. Fact-checkers are independent in their choice of issues to investigate (Balica, 2017a, b; Gârdan et al., 2018; Mircică, 2017; Otrusinová, 2016; Popescu Ljungholm, 2017a, b, c) but are not effective in setting the news media agenda. Their impact is decreasing (Benedikter, 2016; Havu, 2017; Nica, 2017; Peters, 2017; Regnerova and Regnerova, 2017), demonstrating the obstacles fact-checkers encounter in distributing their corrections. (Vargo, Guo, and Amazeen, 2018) CRT is adversely linked with perceived veracity of rather questionable (mainly fake) headlines, and positively linked with perceived veracity of rather plausible (mainly real) headlines. (Pennycook and Rand, 2018)

3.Methodology

Using data from Alexa, Edelman, eMarketer, Gallup, Pew Research Center, SNCR, Statista, and Visual Capitalist, we performed analyses and made estimates regarding distribution of traffic sources for fake news in the U.S.A., sources that should take the lead in solving the problem of fake news ads according to U.S. marketers, perceived frequency of online news websites reporting fake news stories in the U. …

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