Free but fake speech: when giving primacy to the source decreases misinformation sharing on social media

Giandomenico Di Domenico, Dan Nunan, Jason Sit, Valentina Pitardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Social media platforms are facing increasing tensions in balancing the desire to maintain freedom of expression with limiting the spread of fake news and misinformation. This study investigates whether giving primacy to the source of misinformation on Facebook influences users’ sharing behaviour. Two experimental studies show that when fake news is presented in a source-primacy format, users are less likely to share the post because of reduced trust in the message and increased perceptions of deceptive intent. Additionally, this effect persists only when the person sharing the fake news has a weak interpersonal relationship with the receiver. The study extends current understanding of how misinformation is shared and provides insights into how presentation formats can be used to limit the spread of fake news without restricting freedom of speech.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 26 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Fake news
  • Social Media
  • Trust
  • deceptive intent
  • primacy
  • embargoover12

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