Report: Study Finds Neutral Fact-Checking Doesn’t Convince Voters to Abandon ‘Fake News’
From Tulane University:
If you’re having a political argument about voter fraud, you’d think that citing a nonpartisan, neutral source like Snopes or Politifact might be the best way to correct misinformation.
Not so, according to a Tulane University study that found Republicans and Democrats weren’t persuaded to abandon false beliefs about election fraud after reading correct information from fact-checking organizations.
What did work? Surprisingly, both sides were most persuaded when the factual information was believed to be from conservative news source Breitbart.
“Our experimental results demonstrate that Republicans are more likely to correct their false information when cued with the ideologically consistent source, while Democrats were more persuaded by the ideologically inconsistent source,” said study co-authors Mirya Holman and J. Celeste Lay, associate professors of political science at Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts. “Neither group sharply corrected their beliefs when confronted with information from the fact-checking organization.”
The study was published in the Journal of Political Marketing.
“Fact-checking organizations may provide a public good in their attempts to correct the record, but we should not expect them to lead to a more accurately informed public,” Lay said.
The study found that Republicans’ and Democrats’ beliefs in election myths declined when Breitbart said there was no evidence of voter fraud.
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Direct to Study: They See Dead People (Voting): Correcting Misperceptions about Voter Fraud in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election (Paywalled, via Journal of Political Marketing)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.