Title

Combatting COVID-19 Misinformation on Social Media: Do False Information Tags Work?

Document Type

Poster

Event Website

https://source2022.sched.com/

Start Date

16-5-2022

End Date

16-5-2022

Keywords

Misinformation, Illusory Truth Effect, Social Media

Abstract

The spread of false information on social media has become a growing concern for authorities around the world. Many social media companies have now begun to tag posts with false information warnings in order to prevent the spread of potentially dangerous misinformation. While previous research has shown that this method is effective at reducing belief in the moment, newer research is suggesting that the benefits of false information tags are negated by repeated exposure. This is called the “illusory truth effect”. The primary goal of this study is to investigate how this phenomenon applies to misinformation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and whether belief in this misinformation is correlated with levels of fear of COVID-19 and compliance with prevention guidelines. In order to investigate these questions, participants will be asked to view and rate the accuracy of numerous statements concerning the pandemic as well as respond to various questionnaires in order to determine their level of fear and compliance. One week after the first session, participants will return and rate the same statements (among new ones as well) for accuracy. I expect that belief in these statements will increase following the second exposure regardless of whether the misinformation was tagged. If the data I obtain supports this hypothesis, it will add to the growing body of research that suggests simply warning people about misinformation does not prevent belief in that information over longer periods of time.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Danielle Polage

Department/Program

Psychology

Additional Mentoring Department

Psychology

Additional Mentoring Department

Graduate Studies

Streaming Media

Additional Files

Simmons, Jeremy SOURCE 2022 Poster.pdf (410 kB)
Poster

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May 16th, 12:00 AM May 16th, 12:00 AM

Combatting COVID-19 Misinformation on Social Media: Do False Information Tags Work?

The spread of false information on social media has become a growing concern for authorities around the world. Many social media companies have now begun to tag posts with false information warnings in order to prevent the spread of potentially dangerous misinformation. While previous research has shown that this method is effective at reducing belief in the moment, newer research is suggesting that the benefits of false information tags are negated by repeated exposure. This is called the “illusory truth effect”. The primary goal of this study is to investigate how this phenomenon applies to misinformation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and whether belief in this misinformation is correlated with levels of fear of COVID-19 and compliance with prevention guidelines. In order to investigate these questions, participants will be asked to view and rate the accuracy of numerous statements concerning the pandemic as well as respond to various questionnaires in order to determine their level of fear and compliance. One week after the first session, participants will return and rate the same statements (among new ones as well) for accuracy. I expect that belief in these statements will increase following the second exposure regardless of whether the misinformation was tagged. If the data I obtain supports this hypothesis, it will add to the growing body of research that suggests simply warning people about misinformation does not prevent belief in that information over longer periods of time.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2022/COTS/95