From Believing to Sharing: Examining the Effects of Partisan Media’s Correction of COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation
Drawing on social identity theory and politeness theory, this study tested the effects of partisan media’s correction of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on individuals’ message credibility perceptions and news engagement intentions. Based on a between-subjects online experiment in the United States, we found that partisans exposed to ingroup media perceived corrective messages as more credible (marginally) and held higher news engagement intentions than those exposed to outgroup media; nonpartisans rated corrective messages on partisan media as less credible and were less likely to engage than partisans. It also revealed that message credibility mediated the effects of exposure condition on news engagement intentions. Further, the results show that types of risk quantifiers moderated the direct effects of exposure condition on message credibility perceptions and the indirect effects on news engagement intentions via message credibility perceptions. We discuss the findings in light of how news media could combat misinformation in a polarized society.