How Partisan Crowds Affect News Evaluation

Maurice Jakesch, Moran Koren, Anna Evtushenko, Mor Naaman
2020 Conference for Truth and Trust Online  
Social influence is ubiquitous in politics and online social media. Here we explore how social signals from partisan crowds influence people's evaluations of political news. For example, are liberals easily persuaded by a liberal crowd, while resisting the influence of conservative crowds? We designed a largescale online experiment (N=1,000) to test how politically-annotated social signals affect participants' opinions. In times rife with misinformation and polarization, our findings are
more » ... tic: the mechanism of social influence works across political lines, that is, liberals are reliably influenced by majority-Republican crowds and vice versa. At the same time, we replicate findings showing that people are inclined to discard news claims that are inconsistent with their political views. Considering that people show negative reactions to politically dissonant news but not to social signals that oppose their views, we point to the possibility of depolarizing social rating systems.
dblp:conf/tto/JakeschKEN20 fatcat:2jonbspg3vhrfmevcfcsnvntj4