Given the widespread prevalence of fake news on social media, fake news warnings can play a decisive role in combating misinformation. However, research is still debating the extent to which readers of news on social media heed fake news warnings, which is important to evaluate their effectiveness. In this work, we focus on fake news flags with color gradients from green (verification) to red (warning) and investigate conditions under which they receive visual attention. In an eye tracking experiment, we assigned fake news flags to three social media post elements (user, source, news article) and manipulated the number of fake news flags that indicate a warning or verification. Our results reveal that fake news flags for the news article receive more visual attention than those for the user or source. In addition, we provide evidence that confirmation bias moderates the effect of unique flags (warning or verification) on visual attention.
Kießling, Samuel; Wiedmann, Frederik M.; and Figl, Kathrin, "Visual Attention to Fake News Flags in Social Media News Posts: An Eye Tracking Study" (2022). ECIS 2022 Research Papers. 144.
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