The Impact of Online Disinformation on Democracy in Taiwan

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Neylan, Julian
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Abstract
Is online disinformation impacting how voters view political parties? Although many scholars claim that online disinformation (or fake news) is having negative effects on democracy, there are few studies that examine the impact of online disinformation at the individual level. In this study I conducted a randomized survey of 400 Taiwanese respondents in order to assess the impact of online disinformation on their political behavior. The respondents completed one of three surveys and were exposed to either a control article or a social media post containing disinformation. Controlled exposure was found to have a significant impact on the party identification of those exposed to the post for the first time compared to those who had previously been exposed to the post. The results of this study show that disinformation can have an effect on party identification, however further studies are necessary to determine the size and direction of this effect.
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Critical and Ethical Studies of Digital and Social Media, fake news, online disinformation, taiwanese politics
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