[Educator-Gold] FACT CHECKING AND FACT CHECKERS : POLITICS: ELECTIONS AND ELECTION POLLS AND POLLING: Real-Time Fact-Checking Can Change People’s Opinion about a Candidate, But only if the Ratings Are Decisive.

 

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FACT CHECKING AND FACT CHECKERS :

POLITICS: ELECTIONS AND ELECTION POLLS AND POLLING:

Real-Time Fact-Checking Can Change People’s Opinion about a Candidate,
But only if the Ratings Are Decisive.

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Real-Time Fact-Checking Can Change People’s Opinion about a Candidate,
But only if the Ratings Are Decisive.

Amanda L. Wintersieck

LSE US Centre

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2017/03/23/
real-time-fact-checking-can-change-peoples-opinion-about-a-candidate-
but-only-if-the-ratings-are-decisive/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/ly8uc7x

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Political debates are an important part of modern campaigning. These events allow candidates to make their case to a large viewing audience, and to persuade voters to support their candidacy. Today, political debates are often pored over by fact-checkers in real time. Fact-checking organizations, such as FactCheck.org and PolitiFact, as well as more traditional journalist fact-checkers like the New York Times, offer citizens assessments of the accuracy of a candidates statements within moments of those statements being made. Despite the rise of fact-checking in recent elections, we know very little about how fact-check messages and source cues impact voters assessments of political candidates.

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I conducted an experiment utilizing one political debate from the 2013 New Jersey Gubernatorial race between Chris Christie and Barbara Buono in combination with fact-checks that offer either confirming information (a fact-check that states the information in the debate message is accurate), corrective information (a fact-check that states the information in a debate message is inaccurate), or a mix of confirming and corrective information. In addition, the fact-checks source varied (FOX, MSNBC, PolitiFact). Three hundred twenty-one subjects participated in the experiment.

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In each condition, participants were first exposed to an edited version of one of the 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial debates. The edited version included both candidates opening and closing statements and three issue areas. In nine of the conditions, a fact-check was added as a banner at the bottom of the screen.

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The results from my experiment show that fact-check messages influence citizens evaluations of candidates and their vote intentions. Specifically, in conditions where the fact-check indicates that a candidate is being honest, peoples evaluations of the candidates debate performance are improved. Respondents are also more likely to indicate that the candidate won the debate. However, these evaluations flip when the fact-check indicates that the candidate is lying. Respondents were less likely to say the candidate won the debate and gave lower performance evaluations in these conditions.

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While partisans were more likely to indicate their intent to vote for the political candidate of their preferred party, this intent was affected by exposure to the fact-check. As Figure 1 shows, strong Democrats were 47 percent more likely to vote for the Democrat in the race when they were exposed to a fact-check highlighting the candidates honesty. Independents and strong Republicans were 54 percent and 16 percent, respectively, more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate. Additionally, strong Republicans, Independents, and strong Democrats were 12 percent, 40 percent, and 40 percent, respectively, less likely to indicate a willingness to vote for the Republican candidate in experimental conditions where the Republican candidates statements were described as mostly false.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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[Educator-Gold] FACT CHECKING AND FACT CHECKERS : POLITICS: ELECTIONS AND ELECTION POLLS AND POLLING: Real-Time Fact-Checking Can Change People’s Opinion about a Candidate, But only if the Ratings Are Decisive.

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