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Title: Do tabloids poison the well of social media? Explaining democratically dysfunctional news sharing
Authors: Chadwick, Andrew
Vaccari, Cristian
O'Loughlin, Ben
Keywords: Disinformation
"Fake news"
News sharing
Social media
Tabloid news
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: © The authors. Published by SAGE Publications
Citation: CHADWICK, A., VACCARI, C. and O'LOUGHLIN, B., 2018. Do tabloids poison the well of social media? Explaining democratically dysfunctional news sharing. New Media and Society, 20 (11), pp.4255-4274.
Abstract: The use of social media for sharing political information and the status of news as an essential raw material for good citizenship are both generating increasing public concern. We add to the debates about misinformation, disinformation, and “fake news” using a new theoretical framework and a unique research design integrating survey data and analysis of observed news sharing behaviors on social media. Using a media-as-resources perspective, we theorize that there are elective affinities between tabloid news and misinformation and disinformation behaviors on social media. Integrating four data sets we constructed during the 2017 UK election campaign—individual-level data on news sharing (N = 1,525,748 tweets), website data (N = 17,989 web domains), news article data (N = 641 articles), and data from a custom survey of Twitter users (N = 1313 respondents)—we find that sharing tabloid news on social media is a significant predictor of democratically dysfunctional misinformation and disinformation behaviors. We explain the consequences of this finding for the civic culture of social media and the direction of future scholarship on fake news.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal New Media and Society and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818769689
Sponsor: The authors received financial support from the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture at Loughborough University and the New Political Communication Unit at Royal Holloway, University of London for the research and authorship of this article.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/1461444818769689
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/33261
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818769689
ISSN: 1461-4448
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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