Users' ability to perceive misinformation: An information quality assessment approach

10/01/2021 ∙ by Aljaž Zrnec, et al. ∙ 0

Digital information exchange enables quick creation and sharing of information and thus changes existing habits. Social media is becoming the main source of news for end-users replacing traditional media. This also enables the proliferation of fake news, which misinforms readers and is used to serve the interests of the creators. As a result, automated fake news detection systems are attracting attention. However, automatic fake news detection presents a major challenge; content evaluation is increasingly becoming the responsibility of the end-user. Thus, in the present study we used information quality (IQ) as an instrument to investigate how users can detect fake news. Specifically, we examined how users perceive fake news in the form of shorter paragraphs on individual IQ dimensions. We also investigated which user characteristics might affect fake news detection. We performed an empirical study with 1123 users, who evaluated randomly generated stories with statements of various level of correctness by individual IQ dimensions. The results reveal that IQ can be used as a tool for fake news detection. Our findings show that (1) domain knowledge has a positive impact on fake news detection; (2) education in combination with domain knowledge improves fake news detection; and (3) personality trait conscientiousness contributes significantly to fake news detection in all dimensions.

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