eu/) but does not necessarily represent the views of the European
Commission. We also thank Marika
Lüders of the University of Oslo and
the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments.
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Petter Bae Brandtzaeg ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior
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Asbjørn Følstad ( email@example.com) is a senior research
scientist at SINTEF in Oslo, Norway.
© 2017 ACM 0001-0782/17/09 $15.00
tion influence the results of the fact
checking? Fact-checking sites must
thus explicate the nuanced, detailed
process leading to the presented result while keeping it simple enough
to be understandable and useful. 11
Need for transparency. While fact-checker trustworthiness is critical,
fact checkers represent but one set of
voices in the information landscape
and cannot be expected to be benevolent and unbiased just because they
check facts. Rather, they must strive
for transparency in their working process, as well as in their origins, organization, and funding sources.
To increase transparency in its
processes, a service might try to take
a more horizontal, collaborative approach than is typically seen in the
current generation of services. Following Hermida’s recommendation4 to social media journalists, fact
checkers could be set up as a platform for collaborative verification
and genuine fact checking, relying
less on centralized expertise. Forming an interactive relationship with
users might also help build trust. 6, 7
We identified a lack of perceived
trustworthiness and a state of informational disbelief as potential obstacles to fact-checking services reaching social media users most critical
to such services. Table 5 summarizes
our overall findings and discussions,
outlining related key challenges and
our recommendations for how to address them.
Given the exploratory nature of
this study, we cannot conclude our
findings are valid for all services. In
addition, more research is needed
to be able to make definite claims
on systematic differences among the
various fact checkers based on their
“areas of concern.” Nevertheless, the
consistent pattern in opinions we
found across three prominent services suggests challenges and recommendations that can provide useful
guidance for future development in
this important area.
This work was supported by the European Commission co-funded FP
7 project REVEAL (Project No. FP7-
Users with negative
seem trapped in
a perpetual state