The COVID-19 pandemic has been paired with a global misinformation "infodemic."Citizens in authoritarian countries, where most media is state controlled, often do not have access to credible information sources to help combat misinformation. In fact, the news media in these countries may be the primary drivers of misinformation while digital media may be sources of more accurate information. We test how news and digital media in an authoritarian context are associated with endorsing misinformation while introducing the concept of informational learned helplessness as an additional factor driving inaccurate beliefs. We test our hypotheses employing data from a nationally representative telephone survey of the Russian public (N = 1600) and discuss the implications of our findings for Russian attitudes about COVID-19 vaccination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science