Promote the need for sincere information for a democracy based on trust

Syntheses of research papers

To best understand what is occurring today around fake news and misinformation, Fondation Descartes is making summaries of key scientific publications on this topic available to all interested citizens. Without being exhaustive, these summaries allow us all to have an overview of current research, issues in question and the key results obtained. These summaries also can inform debate and deconstruct preconceived ideas relating to misinformation.

They will take on sometimes technical questions. We have made the choice not to hide the complexities, but to give as many tools as possible for understanding, so that anyone who is interested and motivated by the subject can understand the foundations and become familiar with scientific research tools. These summaries are also an opportunity to have an overview of practices and methods of scientific research in social sciences, for those who are interested.


Publication date

Labels set up on social networks to indicate that content is potentially false or misleading have limited effectiveness.

This study by Benjamin Lyons and his colleagues supports the Dunning-Kruger effect. On average, 70% of participants surveyed overestimated their ability to distinguish between reliable information and fake news.

At what point during the reading of a misleading article should such a warning be issued in order to maximize its effectiveness?

Few studies have examined the motivations that lead individuals to spread false information online. This study does so in Nigeria, a country that has been heavily impacted by the spread of fake news.

While numerous studies have examined the impact of fake news on those who read them, few studies allow us to understand what these readers do with such misleading information.

In this article, a team of psychologists tries to explain why we sometimes share false information on the Internet.

This present study demonstrates that, beyond their relationship to fake news, “analytical” and “intuitive” individuals exhibit different behaviors on Twitter.

False allegations regarding large-scale voter fraud were widely circulated shortly before the 2020 US presidential election. To what extent did US voters believe this misleading information?

This CSA report analyzes the mechanisms by which false information spreads on Twitter.

This article, which regroups four experimental studies, shows that individuals generally avoid voluntarily sharing fake news for fear that it will affect their reputation.

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