Checking and Sharing Alt-Facts

79 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2020 Last revised: 28 Jun 2021

See all articles by Emeric Henry

Emeric Henry

Sciences Po

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Sergei Guriev

Sciences Po; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 3, 2021

Abstract

Using an online randomized experiment in the context of the 2019 European
elections campaign in France, we study how fact-checking affects sharing
of false news on social media. We exposed a random sample of French
voting-age Facebook users to statements on the role of the European
Union made by the far-right populist party Rassemblement National.
A randomly selected subgroup of participants was also presented with
fact-checking of these statements; another subgroup was offered a
choice whether to view the fact-checking information. Then, all participants
could choose whether to share the false statements on their Facebook
pages. We show that (i) both imposed and voluntary fact-checking reduce
sharing of false statements by about 45\%; (ii) the size of the effect
is similar between imposed and voluntary fact-checking; and (iii)
each additional click required to share false statements substantially
reduces sharing. These results inform the debate about policy proposals
aimed at limiting propagation of false news on social media.

Keywords: alternative facts, fake news, fact-checking, sharing, social media, Facebook

JEL Classification: D8, D91

Suggested Citation

Henry, Emeric and Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina and Guriev, Sergei, Checking and Sharing Alt-Facts (May 3, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3597191 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3597191

Emeric Henry

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Sergei Guriev (Contact Author)

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

HOME PAGE: http://econ.sciences-po.fr/staff/sergei-guriev

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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