The Role of Accounting Information in an Era of Fake News

83 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2023

See all articles by Betty Liu

Betty Liu

Indiana University

Austin Moss

University of Colorado at Boulder

Date Written: December 2022

Abstract

We examine the role of accounting information in the production of fake financial news. To provide context on the nature of contemporary fake financial news, we detail descriptive statistics of trends in the content and volume of fake news articles. Using bunching analyses, we document two observations on the interactions between accounting information and incentives to produce fake news: (1) fake news authors publish more fake articles near earnings announcements due to the widespread market attention these events garner and (2) they strongly prefer to publish fake articles pre-earnings announcement when the accounting information environment is relatively weaker as compared to post-announcement. To complement our bunching results, we use regression analyses to provide evidence consistent with a more robust accounting information environment both disincentivizing the production of fake news and mitigating the market reaction to fake news.

Keywords: Accounting Information, Fake News, Seeking Alpha, Financial Misinformation

JEL Classification: D82, D83, G14, M41

Suggested Citation

Liu, Betty and Moss, Austin, The Role of Accounting Information in an Era of Fake News (December 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4399543 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4399543

Betty Liu (Contact Author)

Indiana University ( email )

1309 E 10th Street, Hodge Hall 4100
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Austin Moss

University of Colorado at Boulder ( email )

Boulder, CO CO 80309
United States

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