News We Like to Share: How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes

48 Pages Posted: 24 May 2017 Last revised: 14 Aug 2019

See all articles by Kirill Pogorelskiy

Kirill Pogorelskiy

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Matthew Shum

California Institute of Technology

Date Written: August 13, 2019

Abstract

More voters than ever get political news from their friends on social media platforms. Is this bad for democracy? Using context-neutral laboratory experiments, we find that biased (mis)information shared on social networks affects the quality of collective decisions relatively more than does segregation by political preferences on social media. Two features of subject behavior underlie this finding: 1) they share news signals selectively, revealing signals favorable to their candidates more often than unfavorable signals; 2) they naively take signals at face value and account for neither the selection in the shared signals nor the differential informativeness of news signals across different sources.

Keywords: News Sharing, Social Networks, Voting, Media Bias, Fake News, Polarization, Filter Bubble, Lab Experiments

JEL Classification: C72, C91, C92, D72, D83, D85

Suggested Citation

Pogorelskiy, Kirill and Shum, Matthew, News We Like to Share: How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes (August 13, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2972231 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2972231

Kirill Pogorelskiy

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://warwick.ac.uk/kbp

Matthew Shum (Contact Author)

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

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