Fighting fake news on social media: a comparative evaluation of digital literacy interventions

Anat Toder Alon, Ilan Daniels Rahimi, Hila Tahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Effective digital literacy interventions can positively influence social media users’ ability to identify fake news content. This research aimed to (a) introduce a new experiential training digital literacy intervention strategy, (b) evaluate the effect of different digital literacy interventions (i.e., priming critical thinking and an experiential training exercise) on the perceived accuracy of fake news and individuals’ subsequent online behavioral intentions, and (c) explore the underlying mechanisms that link various digital literacy interventions with the perceived accuracy of fake news and online behavioral intentions. The authors conducted a study, leveraging online experimental data from 609 participants. Participants were randomly assigned to different digital literacy interventions. Next, participants were shown a Tweeter tweet containing fake news story about the housing crisis and asked to evaluate the tweet in terms of its accuracy and self-report their intentions to engage in online activities related to it. They also reported their perceptions of skepticism and content diagnosticity. Both interventions were more effective than a control condition in improving participants’ ability to identify fake news messages. The findings suggest that the digital literacy interventions are associated with intentions to engage in online activities through a serial mediation model with three mediators, namely, skepticism, perceived accuracy and content diagnosticity. The results point to a need for broader application of experiential interventions on social media platforms to promote news consumers’ ability to identify fake news content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17343-17361
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent Psychology
Volume43
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2024

Keywords

  • Digital literacy
  • Experiential intervention
  • Fake news
  • Perceived diagnosticity
  • Skepticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fighting fake news on social media: a comparative evaluation of digital literacy interventions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this