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Does Presenting Credibility Labels of Journalistic Sources Affect News Consumption? Study Finds Limited Effects

By NYU News

May 12, 2022

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New York University (NYU) researchers found labeling the credibility of information sources may improve the online news consumption to a limited degree, without noticeably shifting attention away from low-quality sources.

The researchers analyzed over 3,000 people who installed the NewsGuard browser extension, which incorporates source-level indicators of news reliability within users' search engine results pages, social feeds, and visited URLs.

They also gathered anonymized digital trace data to define the news consumption quality of roughly 1,000 participants.

Said NYU's Kevin Aslett, "While our study shows that, overall, credibility ratings have no discernible effect on misperceptions or online news consumption behavior of the average user, our findings suggest that the heaviest consumers of misinformation—those who rely on low-credibility sites—may move toward higher-quality sources when presented with news reliability ratings."

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