An empirical study on Internet-based false news stories: experiences, problem awareness, and responsibilities [post]

Sven Gruener
2020 unpublished
The Internet has significantly reduced the marginal costs of generating and disseminating information. The human information portfolio includes correct and incorrect information. False news stories constitute a challenge for our democracy. Therefore, scientists are increasingly interested in redesigning the information ecosystem. This paper addresses the problem awareness of university students in the realm of false news stories. With the help of a questionnaire, we seek for interesting
more » ... interesting correlations to generate hypotheses that can be analyzed in further studies with new data (i.e., exploratory study). The hypotheses read as follows: (i) Facebook users are more likely to suspect to be in touch with false news stories if they are interested in politics. People are less likely to assume to deal with false news stories the stronger they trust in others and the more emphasis they put on the opinions of others, (ii) False news stories are perceived as a problem at the societal level but not at the individual level, (iii) Men more often than women believe to be in touch with false news stories; men overestimate their ability to spot false news stories. People who fear false news stories are likely to believe that they could detect such information better than the average, and (iv) People see operators of platforms to be in charge of false news stories; people seem to have less confidence in the government.
doi:10.31219/ fatcat:6rphnznavfhwtnnzvkwd6pt2o4