politics

Poynter Results

  • Fact-checking can deter politicians from making false statements

    In this study, researchers wanted to test the hypothesis that the threat of fact-checking deters politicians from making false claims. To do that, they sent mailers to a random selection of state legislators in nine states — all with PolitiFact affiliates — in the run-up to the 2012 election in the United States outlining how their reputations would be affected by fact checks of their inaccurate statements. Researchers found that, in the group that received the letters, lawmakers were much less likely to receive a false rating from PolitiFact. They also found no evidence that those observations were due to less coverage or politicians speaking less than before.

    Study Title
    The Effect of Fact‐Checking on Elites: A Field Experiment on U.S. State Legislators
    Study Publication Date
    Study Authors
    Brendan Nyhan, Jason Reifler
    Journal
    American Journal of Political Science
    Peer Reviewed
    Yes
    Sample
    Representative
    Inferential approach
    Experimental
    Number of studies citing
    15
  • Fact-Checking

    Article

    It's been a year since Trump's inauguration. Here's how his promises stack up.

    This time last year, Americans were waiting for a new president to take office.

    Donald Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20, 2017, came after a presidential campaign in which he made a laundry list of big promises, from repealing Obamacare to getting Mexico to pay for a border wall. And since then, fact-checkers have been keeping tabs on the details.

  • The more partisan your online news diet, the less likely you are to believe fact-checkers

    This study was conducted ahead of the 2012 presidential election. Respondents were asked whether they were aware of experts' conclusions on four political misconceptions, whether they believed them and which online news outlets they consumed. Frequent conservative online news consumers had a 33 percent chance of being wrong about President Obama's birth certificate despite knowing what most journalists had concluded about it. Only 3 percent of those not reading conservative news held that same belief. Conversely, a frequent liberal online news user had a 10 percent chance of being wrong about Mitt Romney outsourcing jobs during his tenure at Bain even though they correctly indicated what fact-checkers findings were. Researchers concluded that there may be a relationship between partisan media use and political misconceptions.

    Study Title
    Driving a Wedge Between Evidence and Beliefs: How Online Ideological News Exposure Promotes Political Misperceptions
    Study Publication Date
    Study Authors
    R. Kelly Garrett, Brian E. Weeks, Rachel L. Neo
    Journal
    Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
    Peer Reviewed
    Yes
  • Debunking in a World of Tribes

    This study examined how effective online debunking is by employing a quantitative analysis of 54 million U.S. Facebook users over a five year period. Researchers compared how users interacted with proven and unsubstantiated Facebook posts and found consumers of conspiracy theories and fact-based reporting mostly engaged in separate echo chambers. The study found that debunking posts were largely ineffective due to the fact that consumers of conspiracy theories didn't frequently interact with them, and when they did, they reacted negatively.

    Study Title
    Debunking isn't very effective in conspiracy theory echo chambers
    Study Publication Date
    Study Authors
    Fabiana Zollo, Alessandro Bessi, Michela Del Vicario, Antonio Scala, Guido Caldarelli, Louis Shekhtman, Shlomo Havlin, Walter Quattrociocchi
    Journal
    Public Library of Science
    Peer Reviewed
    Yes
 
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