Assessing the relative merits of news literacy and corrections in responding to misinformation on Twitter

Emily Vraga, Melissa Tully, Leticia Bode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Extending previous research, we test two solutions for addressing misinformation by pairing news literacy (NL) messages with corrective responses to health misinformation shared on Twitter. Importantly, we consider a range of outcomes, including not just credibility or misperceptions, but also feelings of news literacy and support for its value. Using an experiment, we find that user corrections of a meme containing false information reduced credibility assessments of the misinformation post and misperceptions but seeing misinformation also produced lower perceptions of personal news literacy and its value for society, regardless of whether it is corrected or not. Exposure to an NL message did not enhance the effectiveness of these corrective responses nor boost NL attitudes and may have generated cynicism. We discuss the challenges of designing NL messages for social media that achieve the wide range of goals news literacy interventions aspire to address.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Page and Johnson Legacy Scholar Grant #2018FN004 from Pennsylvania State University.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • Correction
  • credibility
  • misinformation
  • news literacy
  • social media

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