WHILE THE INTERNET has the potential to give people
ready access to relevant and factual information,
social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have made
filtering and assessing online content increasingly
difficult due to its rapid flow and enormous volume.
In fact, 49% of social media users in the U.S. in 2012
received false breaking news through
social media. 8 Likewise, a survey by
Silverman11 suggested in 2015 that
false rumors and misinformation
disseminated further and faster than
ever before due to social media. Polit-
ical analysts continue to discuss mis-
information and fake news in social
media and its effect on the 2016 U.S.
Such misinformation challenges
the credibility of the Internet as a
venue for authentic public information and debate. In response, over the
past five years, a proliferation of outlets has provided fact checking and
debunking of online content. Fact-checking services, say Kriplean et al., 6
provide “… evaluation of verifiable
claims made in public statements
through investigation of primary and
secondary sources.” An international
Even when checked by fact checkers, facts are
often still open to preexisting bias and doubt.
BY PETTER BAE BRANDTZAEG AND ASBJØRN FØLSTAD
˽ Though fact-checking services play
an important role countering online
disinformation, little is known about whether
users actually trust or distrust them.
˽ The data we collected from social media
discussions—on Facebook, Twitter, blogs,
forums, and discussion threads in online
newspapers—reflects users’ opinions
about fact-checking services.
˽ To strengthen trust, fact-checking services
should strive to increase transparency
in their processes, as well as in their
organizations, and funding sources.