Making fact-checks work: Evidence-based recommendations for practitioners

Authors: Michael Hameleers en Marina Tulin

Misinformation and disinformation, which refer to unintentionally false and deliberately
misleading information respectively, have been associated with severe democratic and
societal ramifications. Among other things, exposure to misinformation can create
misperceptions, reinforce societal cleavages, or result in doubts and cynicism regarding
the status of facts. Exposure to false information can also reduce audiences’ trust in real
information. To deal with these potential threats, fact-checking has been introduced as a
viable and effective response to the dissemination of mis- and disinformation. Although
experiments and meta-analyses have shown that such forms of corrective information can
be effective in combating falsehoods (e.g., Walter et al. 2020; Hameleers and Van Der Meer
2020), we currently lack an externally valid overview of how fact-checks should be
embedded in the information ecology, and which modes and forms may be most effective
under different conditions. For this reason, this white paper reviews the state-of-the-art
and recent experimental research collected in real-life settings to offer recommendations
on how to make fact-checking more effective. It provides concrete suggestions on the
mode of presentation, argument structure, and tailored responses to different forms of
mis- and disinformation. Ultimately, this white paper aims to equip practitioners involved
in fact-checking, such as journalists and fact-checkers, with evidence-based
recommendations for correcting mis- and disinformation.

Read the full paper here


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