Professor and researcher Erik Nisbet spoke about the impact of fake news on democracy in two recent articles.
Nisbet said it’s difficult to know what’s true and what’s false in a social media political environment where fake news is increasingly ubiquitous.
However, social media is only part of the equation.
"Research shows that in many ways extreme partisan online news websites from either the right or the left play a greater role in spreading misinformation than social media does," said Nisbet.
In addition to news sources, Nisbet said voters themselves have a responsibility to stop and think about the information they’re posting. However, people may not recognize fake news because they’re looking to confirm their preexisting beliefs.
“We have a responsibility as citizens to do some gut checks, to sit back and think, ‘okay am I basically sharing this information or endorsing this information because it makes me feel good,'" Nisbet said.