Collective Social Correction: Addressing Misinformation through Group Practices of Information Verification on WhatsApp

Neta Kligler-Vilenchik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent years show a growing concern about the spread of misinformation on social media. One of the avenues to address this challenge is the practice of social correction—the correction of misinformation conducted by other social media users. While social correction focuses on individuals in the context of their respective social media networks, we offer the concept of collective social correction: an ongoing practice of information verification, occurring within group contexts. Employing a mixed-methods approach, we examine collective social correction by analysing the case study of a large-scale Israeli WhatsApp group, led by a journalist, and devoted to informal discussion of politics and news. Our findings point at the importance of active, discursive processes of information verification in the current media environment, particularly when it comes to political (mis)information. The study further highlights the role of group dynamics and group norms—modelled by the behaviour of everyday participants as well as of the group admin—in promoting the adoption of journalistic practices of fact-checking and source vetting and increasing participant accountability. Finally, the paper considers to what extent the interplay between social dynamics and information verification processes can inform our understanding of other, non-specialized group contexts as well.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)300-318
Number of pages19
JournalDigital Journalism
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Groups
  • WhatsApp
  • journalistic practices
  • meso news-space
  • misinformation
  • norms
  • social correction
  • social media

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