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The sharing of disinformation in cross-national comparison: analyzing patterns of resilience


Humprecht, Edda; Esser, Frank; van Aelst, Peter; Staender, Anna; Morosoli, Sophie (2023). The sharing of disinformation in cross-national comparison: analyzing patterns of resilience. Information, communication and society, 26(7):1342-1362.

Abstract

Although the problem of disinformation is on the rise across the globe, previous research has found that countries differ in the extent of widespread disinformation. In this study, we examine the willingness to disseminate disinformation across six countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.). We use a model by Humprecht et al. (2020) to study to what degree various systemic-structural factors influence individual behavior and contribute to resilience to disinformation. We draw on uniformly collected primary survey data and use regression analyses to examine which factors may explain citizens’ decisions to not further propagate disinformation. The results of our cross-national study show that resilience factors are country-specific and are highly dependent on the respective political and information environments. While in some countries extreme ideology weakens resilience, in others low education can have such an effect. Cross-national resilience factors include heavy social media use, the use of alternative media, and populist party support. We discuss what kind of tailored measures in combating online disinformation are needed to improve social resilience across different countries.

Abstract

Although the problem of disinformation is on the rise across the globe, previous research has found that countries differ in the extent of widespread disinformation. In this study, we examine the willingness to disseminate disinformation across six countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.). We use a model by Humprecht et al. (2020) to study to what degree various systemic-structural factors influence individual behavior and contribute to resilience to disinformation. We draw on uniformly collected primary survey data and use regression analyses to examine which factors may explain citizens’ decisions to not further propagate disinformation. The results of our cross-national study show that resilience factors are country-specific and are highly dependent on the respective political and information environments. While in some countries extreme ideology weakens resilience, in others low education can have such an effect. Cross-national resilience factors include heavy social media use, the use of alternative media, and populist party support. We discuss what kind of tailored measures in combating online disinformation are needed to improve social resilience across different countries.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Social Sciences & Humanities > Library and Information Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:Disinformation, resilience, comparative research, social media
Language:English
Date:19 May 2023
Deposited On:14 Dec 2021 14:58
Last Modified:26 Jun 2024 01:45
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1369-118X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2021.2006744
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100017L_182253
  • : Project TitleComparing Western Information Environments