What It Is
Text on a "share" button that asks users to "think if this news is accurate”
When To Use It
On social media feeds where users have an option to re-share a link to any news item.
What Is Its Intended Impact
By calling their attention to accuracy, users will be more apt to discern if a news item is misinformation and less likely to re-share fake news
Evidence That It Works
Evidence That It Works
Capraro and Celadin (2022) conducted several online lab experiments in which participants were shown true and false news items and given the option to click on a "share" button to indicate they would share them on social media. When the researchers included the text "think if this news is accurate" on the share button, participants were more than 25% less likely to indicate they'd share fake news compared to participants who did not see an accuracy prompt. Importantly, the accuracy reminder did not decrease participants' intention to share real news.Capraro and Celadin's studies build off of multiple experiments conducted by Rand, Pennycook and colleagues that likewise show that prompting people to think about accuracy before they see news stories can decrease intentions to share fake news. Significantly one of their studies was conducted as a field experiment on Twitter where the researchers set up accounts to send other Twitter users messages asking them to assess if a news story was real or fake. After receiving such a message, users were less likely to share fake news for at least 24 hours, compared to the same time period before receiving the message. Although platforms cannot adopt that specific intervention (as it involves a deceptive account), it provides evidence that accuracy nudges are not just effective in lab experiments but will also decrease shares of fake news on real platforms.
Why It Matters
Fake news makes up a small percentage of information on social media, but because fabricated stories are often designed to provoke division and anger, even small amounts of fake news can lead to civic and physical harm. Platforms may be limited in their ability to identify and remove fake news, however, because of the challenges in creating reliable algorithms and concerns over censorship. By prompting accuracy, platforms can call on the judgment of good faith users to identify and slow the spread of fake news.
In another version of their intervention, Capraro and Celadin include the text "I think this news is accurate." In this "accuracy endorsement" prompt, participants were even less likely to share fake news and significantly more likely to share real news. While an "endorsement" of news accuracy goes farther than merely prompting users to think of accuracy and changes the experience of sharing, it may be an effective way to encourage users to promote accurate news. It also may increase engagement because, as mentioned above, real news makes up the vast majority of links shared on social media.
This intervention entry currently lacks photographic evidence (screencaps, &c.)
Accuracy prompts are a replicable and generalizable approach for reducing the spread of misinformation
“I Think This News Is Accurate”: Endorsing Accuracy Decreases the Sharing of Fake News and Increases the Sharing of Real News
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