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Epistemology in the era of fake news: an exploration of information verification behaviors among social networking site users
Torres R., Gerhart N., Negahban A.  ACM SIGMIS Database 49 (3): 78-97, 2018. Type: Article
Date Reviewed: Mar 2 2020

Factors that influence social networking site users when it comes to verifying information include perceptions about the network’s composition, perceptions about the authors of the information, and the user’s intentions to share. In particular, perceptions about network composition relate to the diversity represented in the user’s social network and the extent to which the user shares beliefs with people in the network. Perceptions about the authors of the information relate to the user’s awareness that fake news exists; the trust the user has in other members of the network; and the general trust the user has in media coverage.

The conclusions are based on a survey of 514 individuals, nearly all between the ages of 19 and 29, from three different universities. The paper presents two surprising results: trust in the network was positively related to the diversity contained on the user’s network, and user verification behavior was positively related to trust in the network.

This paper includes much discussion about fake news and some discussion on how to combat it using the results from the survey. It presents a thorough statistical analysis, and the list of references is exhaustive. The approach is provocative and the analysis thorough. It would be worthwhile to know the specific questions asked in the survey. A discussion of the relationship between verification and fake news would have also been helpful.

Reviewer:  B. Hazeltine Review #: CR146913 (2008-0193)
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