Reinforcing attitudes in a gatewatching news era: individual-level antecedents to sharing fact-checks on social media
Amazeen, Michelle A.
Vargo, Chris J.
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Citation (published version)Michelle A Amazeen, Chris J Vargo, Toby Hopp. "Reinforcing attitudes in a gatewatching news era: Individual-level antecedents to sharing fact-checks on social media." Communication Monographs, pp. 1 - 21. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2018.1521984
Despite the prevalence of fact-checking, little is known about who posts fact-checks online. Based upon a content analysis of Facebook and Twitter digital trace data and a linked online survey (N = 783), this study reveals that sharing fact-checks in political conversations on social media is linked to age, ideology, and political behaviors. Moreover, an individual’s need for orientation (NFO) is an even stronger predictor of sharing a fact-check than ideological intensity or relevance, alone, and also influences the type of fact-check format (with or without a rating scale) that is shared. Finally, participants generally shared fact-checks to reinforce their existing attitudes. Consequently, concerns over the effects of fact-checking should move beyond a limited-effects approach (e.g., changing attitudes) to also include reinforcing accurate beliefs.