Who Uses Fact-Checking Sites? The Impact of Demographics, Political Antecedents, and Media Use on Fact-Checking Site Awareness, Attitudes, and Behavior

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Abstract

This study examines audience relationships to fact-checking sites in the United States. Focus is placed on predictors of audience awareness of, attitudes toward, and visits to such sites within a stage model framework drawn from the persuasive message literature. Analysis of survey data from a U.S. sample shows that liberals and liberal/mainstream news consumers are more aware of, positive toward, and likely to report using fact-checking sites. Conservatives are less positive and conservative news consumers see such sites as less useful to them. Findings indicate that while specific combinations of predictors of awareness, attitudes, and behavior vary, fact-checking sites have a particular appeal to liberals and liberal/mainstream news consumers. Results point to U.S. fact-checking sites being absorbed into wider ideological discourses and patterns of ideological news consumption.

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Robertson, C. T., Mourão, R. R., & Thorson, E. (2020). Who Uses Fact-Checking Sites? The Impact of Demographics, Political Antecedents, and Media Use on Fact-Checking Site Awareness, Attitudes, and Behavior. International Journal of Press/Politics, 25(2), 217–237. https://doi.org/10.1177/1940161219898055

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