Why do Citizens Choose to Read Fact-Checks in the Context of the Russian War in Ukraine? The Role of Directional and Accuracy Motivations in Nineteen Democracies

Marina Tulin*, Michael Hameleers, Claes de Vreese, Toril Aalberg, Nicoleta Corbu, Patrick Van Erkel, Frank Esser, Luisa Gehle, Denis Halagiera, David Nicolas Hopmann, Karolina Koc-Michalska, Jörg Matthes, Sabina Mihelj, Christian Schemer, Vaclav Stetka, Jesper Strömbäck, Ludovic Terren, Yannis Theocharis

*Kontaktforfatter

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

The recent surge of false information accompanying the Russian invasion of Ukraine has re-emphasized the need for interventions to counteract disinformation. While fact-checking is a widely used intervention, we know little about citizen motivations to read fact-checks. We tested theoretical predictions related to accuracy-motivated goals (i.e., seeking to know the truth) versus directionally-motivated goals (i.e., seeking to confirm existing beliefs) by analyzing original survey data (n = 19,037) collected in early April to late May 2022 in nineteen countries, namely Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and USA. Survey participants read ten statements about the Russian war in Ukraine and could opt to see fact-checks for each of these statements. Results of mixed models for three-level hierarchical data (level 1: statements, level 2: individuals, and level 3: countries) showed that accuracy motivations were better explanations than directional motivations for the decision to read fact-checks about the Russian war in Ukraine.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Press/Politics
ISSN1940-1612
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 29. feb. 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024.

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