The Blue Check of Credibility: Does Account Verification Matter When Evaluating News on Twitter

Stephanie Edgerly*, Emily K. Vraga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The increased reliance on social network sites for news and the proliferation of partisan news have refocused scholarly attention on how people judge credibility online. Twitter has faced scrutiny regarding their practices in assigning the "verified" status to Twitter accounts, but little work has investigated whether users apply this cue in making assessments for information quality. Using an experimental design, we test whether the Twitter verification mark contributes to perceptions of information and account credibility among news organizations. We additionally consider how account ambiguity and account congruence with political beliefs condition this relationship. Our results suggest little attention is paid to the verification mark when judging credibility, even when little other information is provided about the account or the content. Instead, account ambiguity and congruence dominate credibility assessments of news organizations. We propose that Twitter may need to revise their verification badges to increase their salience or provide more information to users. Currently, users appear to rely on other cues than the verification label when judging information quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-287
Number of pages5
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

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Keywords

  • Twitter
  • credibility
  • partisan news
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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