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Fake News, Immigration, and Opinion Polarization

Journal: SocioEconomic Challenges (SEC) (Vol.1, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 59-72

Keywords : fake news; opinion polarization; immigration; backfire effect; validation myopia; post-truth;

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Nowadays, it is hard to venture online without coming across a heated discussion over “Fake News”; as a result, people are finding hardE times moving through an entirely new distorted era of misinfor-mation and biased news. In this paper, we investigate the effect of fake news on people's opinion polarization on a hot topic – such as immigration – through an experiment. We show that “Backfire Effect” and a cognitive bias we named “Validation Myopia” occur when people read Fake news in-dependently if they believe them or not. In addition, we show how Fake news affect opinion polariza-tion and we provide evidence that the Backfire Effect has a higher magnitude than its counterpart (i.e. validation myopia). Finally we show that the emotion-driven effect of fake news can be neutralized thanks to ex-ante signaling of the inaccuracy of fake news.

Last modified: 2017-12-19 17:57:29