Understanding perceived fakeness of online health news in Hong Kong

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Given the vast amount of incorrect health information circulated online, it is reasonable to question how everyday audiences process the health news they see shared on social media. This study identifies the mechanism behind evaluating a piece of health content shared on social media to be fake. An online experiment in Hong Kong exposed participants (N = 135) to a simulated Facebook news post claiming that the consumption of milk could be harmful, manipulating the source to be either a legacy media outlet or an unfamiliar online health source. Individuals with different prior views on milk consumption assessed the fakeness of the same fake health news item significantly differently. The findings contribute to digital literacy research, such that practitioners should take motivated perception of health news into account. Further, online sources which are less seen to be motivated by financial profits are likely to be trusted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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