Fake News Cues: Examining the Impact of Content, Source, and Typology of News Cues on People’s Confidence in Identifying Mis- and Disinformation

Amber Hinsley, Avery Holton


Using a survey of U.S. adults, this research examines the content, source, and typology cues that people rely on when assessing misinformation in the news, frequently referred to as fake news, and how those factors impact the confidence they have in their ability to identify fake news. Participants’ confidence in recognizing fake news was significantly affected by their patterns of looking at news cues, such as a story’s URL and author, as well as by their engaging in their own research and seeking out news that confirms what they already believe. These findings signal a need for increased, continuous news literacy education designed to empower the public to push back against the seedy allure of fake news and other forms of misinformation that pose as legitimate, objective news.


confidence, credibility, disinformation, misinformation, fake news, news cues

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