As many as three in four Americans overestimate their ability to spot false headlines or spotting fake news. The worse they are , the more likely they are to share that fake news, researchers reported.
Republicans were more likely to fall for fake news than Democrats according to a study. The study had 8200 respondents.
The study team, was led by Ben Lyons, a professor of communications at the University of Utah. The team showed study volunteers headlines presented in the format of news articles. They looked how they would appear in a Facebook feed. People were asked to rate their ability. They had to determine whether stories were true and which were fake news.
The research showed that overconfident individuals are more likely to visit untrustworthy websites. Additionally, they failed to successfully distinguish between true and false claims about current events. They also show a greater will to like or share false content on social media, especially when they agreed it politically.
The least equipped individuals to identify false news content are also the least aware of their own limitations and, therefore, more adept to believing it and spreading it further,” they added.
Republicans are more overconfident than Democrats. This is not surprising given the lower levels of media trust.
It seem that people need to better educate themselves as to spotting what is fake news.