Fighting COVID-19 misinformation on social media: Experimental evidence for a scalable accuracy nudge intervention
AUTHORSGordon PennycookJonathon McPhetresYunhao ZhangDavid Rand
March 17, 2020LAST EDITEDMarch 17, 2020SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS osf.io/7d3xh
چکیده: در این روزها پخش اخبار نادرست و شایعات می تواند به مرگ افراد بینجامد. آزمایشهای با 1600 نفر در آمریکا نشان می دهد دلیلی مهم در پخش شایعات به اشتراک گذاشتن مطالب بدون فکر و دقت است. پخش شایعات به شدت کاهش می یابد اگر فرد قبل از به اشتراک گذاشتن از خود بپرسد: آیا از صحت این مطلب اطمینان دارم؟
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Misinformation can amplify humanities greatest challenges. A salient recent example of this is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has bread a multitude of falsehoods even as truth has increasingly become a matter of life-and-death. Here we investigate why people believe and spread false (and true) news content about COVID-19, and test an intervention intended to increase the truthfulness of the content people share on social media. Across two studies with over 1,600 participants (quota-matched to the American public on age, gender, ethnicity and geographic region), we find support for the idea that people share false claims about COVID-19 in part because they simply fail to think sufficiently about whether or not content is accurate when deciding what to share. In Study 1, participants were far worse at discerning between true and false content when deciding what they would share on social media relative to when they are asked directly about accuracy. Furthermore, participants who engaged in more analytic thinking and had greater science knowledge were more discerning in their belief and sharing. In Study 2, we found that a simple accuracy reminder at the beginning of the study – i.e., asking people to judge the accuracy of a non-COVID-19-related headline – more than doubled the level of truth discernment in participants’ sharing intentions. In the control, participants were equally like to say they would share false versus true headlines at COVID-19 whereas, in the treatment, sharing of true headlines was significantly higher than false headlines. Our results – which mirror those found previously for political fake news – suggest that nudging people to think about accuracy is a simple way to improve choices about what to share on social media. Accuracy nudges are straightforward for social media platforms to implement on top of the other approaches they are currently employing, and could have an immediate positive impact on stemming the tide of misinformation about the COVID-19 outbreak.