This study examines the impact of fake news discourse on perceptions of news media credibility. If participants are told they have been exposed to fake news, does this lead them to trust information institutions less, including the news media? Study 1 (n=188) found that news media credibility decreased when participants were told they saw fake news, while news credibility did not change when participants were told they saw real news. Study 2 (n=400) found that those who saw fake news - and were told they saw a fake news post - decreased their trust in the news media while those who saw fake news and were not debriefed did not change their perceptions of the news media. This shows that the social impact of fake news is not limited to its direct consequences of misinforming individuals, but also includes the potentially adverse effects of discussing fake news.
- Fake news
- Social media