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Facts, Alternative Facts, and Fact Checking in Times of Post-Truth Politics

Oscar Barrera (), Sergei Guriev, Emeric Henry and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
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Oscar Barrera: PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement

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Abstract: How effective is fact checking in countervailing "alternative facts," i.e., misleading statements by politicians? In a randomized online experiment during the 2017 French presidential election campaign, we subjected subgroups of 2480 French voters to alternative facts by the extreme-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, and/or corresponding facts about the European refugee crisis from official sources. We find that: (i) alter- native facts are highly persuasive; (ii) fact checking improves factual knowledge of voters (iii) but it does not affect policy conclusions or support for the candidate; (iv) exposure to facts alone does not decrease support for the candidate, even though voters update their knowledge. We argue that the main channel is that fact checking increases the salience of the immigration issue.

Date: 2018-12-01
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://sciencespo.hal.science/hal-03393114
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Related works:
Journal Article: Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics (2020)
Working Paper: Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics (2020)
Working Paper: Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics (2020)
Working Paper: Facts, Alternative Facts, and Fact Checking in Times of Post-Truth Politics (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Facts, Alternative Facts, and Fact Checking in Times of Post-Truth Politics (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Facts, Alternative Facts, and Fact Checking in Times of Post-Truth Politics (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Facts, Alternative Facts, and Fact Checking in Times of Post-Truth Politics (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Facts, Alternative Facts, and Fact Checking in Times of Post-Truth Politics (2017) Downloads
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