Comparing button-based chatbots with webpages for presenting fact-checking results: A case study of health information

Xianglin Zhao, Li Chen, Yucheng Jin*, Xinzhi Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The unprecedented proliferation of online health misinformation poses a potential threat to public health. In recent times, several fact-checking organizations have adopted chatbots to present fact-checking results. However, it is unclear whether chatbots are more appropriate than traditional fact-checking websites for presenting these rigorous corrective messages. To answer this question, we compared a button-based chatbot with a traditional webpage for presenting fact-checking results. As fact-checkers’ expertise cues could influence users’ perception of fact-checking, we also considered the effect of expertise cues in our study. We conducted a 2 (interaction type: webpage vs. chatbot) × 2 (expertise cue: non-highlighted vs. highlighted) between-subjects online experiment (N=308). The results show that the chatbot leads to higher perceived ease of use, which in turn increases the effectiveness of fact-checking. The highlighted expertise cue tends to decrease users’ intention to use, especially when they interact with the webpage. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of using chatbots to disseminate fact-checking content and several design implications for the creation of an effective tool to fact-check health information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103203
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Volume60
Issue number2
Early online date13 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Information Systems
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Library and Information Sciences

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chatbot
  • Conversational agent
  • Fact-checking
  • Health misinformation
  • User interface
  • User study

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