Fake news has gained considerable media attention due to its potential impact on media, journalism, politics, and society. The misleading information in fake news forms people’s inaccurate beliefs. These false beliefs or misconceptions due to fake news have the potential to jeopardize democracy, and even influence the national election results of a country.

Fake news may comprise fake stories, propaganda, misinformation, and any other forms of information that are perceived to have low credibility. The SMART Lab is embarking on a research project to better understand how adolescents receive news and judge its quality. We will employ a range of research methods and analytics techniques to interpret the fake news phenomenon.

In the initial stage, we are conducting focus group interviews at Ohio University. The findings are expected to enhance people’s awareness of the existence and impacts of fake news; motivate people to foster media literacy to recognize and filter false information; and urge news media administrators to regulate the creation and circulation of such news. We also plan to conduct advanced network analyses to understand the flow of fake information as well as the actors that promote such content on social media.

Research Team Members:
Dr. Laeeq Khan, Director, SMART Lab
Dr. Scott Titsworth, Dean, Scripps College of Communication
Bowen Gao, PhD student, School of Media Arts and Studies
Nune Grigoryan, PhD student, School of Media Arts and Studies
Becca King, Master’s student, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism