Pausing to consider why a headline is true or false can help reduce the sharing of false news | HKS Misinformation Review

By Lisa Fazio
February 10, 2020

In an online experiment, participants who paused to explain why a headline was true or false indicated that they were less likely to share false information compared to control participants. Their intention to share accurate news stories was unchanged. These results indicate that adding “friction” (i.e., pausing to think) before sharing can improve the quality of information shared on social media.

Research Questions

Can asking people to explain why a headline is true or false decrease sharing of false political news headlines? Is this intervention effective for both novel headlines and ones that were seen previously?


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