Comparing the effects of news media literacy interventions and fact-checkers in response to political misinformation in the US and Netherlands

By Michael Hameleers

Although previous research has offered important insights into the consequences of mis- and disinformation and the effectiveness of corrective information, we know markedly less about how different types of corrective information – news media literacy interventions and fact-checkers – can be combined to counter different forms of misinformation. Against this backdrop, this paper reports on experiments in the US and the Netherlands (N = 1,091) that exposed people to evidence-based or fact-free anti-immigration misinformation, fact-checkers and/or a media literacy intervention. The main findings indicate that evidence-based misinformation is seen as more accurate than fact-free misinformation, and the combination of news media literacy interventions and fact-checkers is most effective in lowering issue agreement and perceived accuracy of misinformation across countries. These findings have important implications for journalism practice and policy makers that aim to combat mis- and disinformation.

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