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2020 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Use and Assessment of Sources in Conspiracy Theorists’ Communities

Authors : Tim Schatto-Eckrodt, Svenja Boberg, Florian Wintterlin, Thorsten Quandt

Published in: Disinformation in Open Online Media

Publisher: Springer International Publishing



The endemic spread of misinformation online has become a subject of study for many academic disciplines. Part of the emerging literature on this topic has shown that conspiracy theories (CTs) are closely related to this phenomenon. One of the strategies deployed to combat this online misinformation is confronting users with corrective information, often drawn from mainstream media outlets. This study tries to answer the questions (I) whether there are online-communities that exclusively consume conspiracy theorist media and (II) how these communities use information sources from the mainstream. The results of our explorative, large-scale content analysis show that even in conspiracy theorist communities, mainstream media sources are being used very similar to sources from the conspiracy theorist media spectrum, thus not reaching any of their assumed corrective potential.

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Use and Assessment of Sources in Conspiracy Theorists’ Communities
Tim Schatto-Eckrodt
Svenja Boberg
Florian Wintterlin
Thorsten Quandt
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