POST Online Media Lite Edition


Trump supporters most likely to believe fake news

Staff Writer |
Earlier this year, Facebook introduced a function that let users tag bogus items to stop them spreading, but a new report says this isn’t working.

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If enough people report a Facebook article as fake, it may be reviewed by independent fact checkers, such as Snopes and Politifact.

If it is then determined to be factually incorrect, a “disputed by third-party fact checkers” label will appear at the bottom of the post.

A study from Yale says that the label has “only a very modest impact on people’s perceptions.”

The study asked 7534 people to judge the accuracy of 24 headlines, 12 true and 12 false.

It found that those articles with the disputed tag made participants just 3.7 percent more likely to correctly identify them as false.

“The main potential benefit of the tag is that it (slightly) increased belief in real news headlines,” the researchers said.

“This seems insufficient, however, to stem the tide of false and misleading information circulating on social media.”

It was also discovered that the flagging feature is causing more people to believe fake news stories.

With so many of the posts appearing on Facebook, it’s impossible for the fact-checkers to address them all.

This leads to a “backfire effect” where users see all untagged fake news stories as likely to be real.

The researchers say this is especially true among Trump supporters and adults under 26.

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