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EMAC 2023 Annual

When fact-checking backfires: The roles of the endorser’s credibility and the recipient’s predispositions towards the issue on fake news’ correction effectiveness in social media

Published: May 24, 2023


Ambre Gambin, University of Montpellier (MRM); Andreas Munzel, Toulouse 1 Capitole University (TSM Research)


Fake news is spreading more than ever through social media and recent fact-checking approaches now rely on crowdsourced solutions. The literature remains widely silent regarding the effectiveness of these corrections. Based on Cognitive Response View principles and two experiments (n1=276; n2=256), we study how the endorser’s (i.e., the profile sharing the correction with their following) perceived credibility impacts the effectiveness of fact-checks by accounting for the recipient’s predisposition to the communicated issue (i.e., Covid vaccination). The findings show that corrections can attenuate undesirable effects of fake news on individual beliefs. But, while professional fact-checking reduces these effects directly, the impact of its community-based diffusion depends mainly on the recipient’s predisposition. The results suggest a backfire effect of the correction. Our research contributes to the growing field of community-related approaches in the battle against the infodemic.