Behind the Stars: The Effects of News Source Ratings on Fake News in Social Media

38 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2017 Last revised: 2 Jan 2018

Antino Kim

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Patricia Moravec

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Alan R. Dennis

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Date Written: December 18, 2017

Abstract

The rise of “fake news” has become a major concern for social media platforms and their users with many researchers working on approaches for fact checking of articles. Article fact-checking usually appears after a fake article has been widely read, so it has only limited effects. We examine the effectiveness of three different mechanisms for news source ratings that can be applied to news articles when they are initially published: expert article rating (where expert reviewers fact-check past articles, which are aggregated to provide a source rating), user article rating (where users rate past articles, which are aggregated to provide a source rating), and user source rating (where users rate the sources directly). We conducted an experiment with 590 social media users and found that all forms of rating influenced the user’s belief in the articles, with different rating mechanisms having varying levels of impact. Notably, expert article ratings and user article ratings have stronger effects than do user source ratings for low-rated sources, which are the usual culprits responsible for spreading disinformation. A user’s belief in an article, in turn, influenced the extent to which users would engage with the article (e.g., read, like, comment and share). In addition to these effects, we also found confirmation bias to be rampant; users were more likely to believe — and engage with — articles that aligned with their beliefs.

Keywords: Fake news, social media, article rating, source rating, expert rating, user rating

Suggested Citation

Kim, Antino and Moravec, Patricia and Dennis, Alan R., Behind the Stars: The Effects of News Source Ratings on Fake News in Social Media (December 18, 2017). Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 18-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3090355 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3090355

Antino Kim (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Business 670
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States
812.855.2905 (Phone)

Patricia Moravec

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Business 670
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Alan R. Dennis

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Business 670
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
196
rank
142,756
Abstract Views
1,139
PlumX