Social media play an important role in political communication, leading to growing concerns about the credibility of shared information. Attempts to slow the spread of misinformation by platforms such as Facebook and Twitter include adding fact-checking labels to social media posts, the effectiveness of which remains unclear. Using two experiments, we tested the credibility effects of fact-checking labels (confirmed vs. disputed) on graphical presentations of political (Democrat vs. Republican) quotes and social media news posts. Study 1 (N = 312) tested the effects of these labels on political social media posts with political quotes, and Study 2 (N = 356) replicated and extended this research to a news story post about a politician. Results indicate that the valence of verification labels on their own do not affect perceptions of the content. Instead, users find corrections of opposite-party political figures more credible and are more willing to share content when it negatively portrays opposite-party political figures. These results demonstrate potential limitations of fact-checking labels and highlight the importance of considering political ideology in correcting misinformation on social media sites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)