Fake images: The effects of source, intermediary, and digital media literacy on contextual assessment of imag credibility online
Fake or manipulated images propagated through the Web and social media have the capacity to deceive, emotionally distress, and influence public opinions and actions. Yet few studies have examined how individuals evaluate the authenticity of images that accompany online stories. This article details a 6-batch large-scale online experiment using Amazon Mechanical Turk that probes how people evaluate image credibility across online platforms. In each batch, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 28 news-source mockups featuring a forged image, and they evaluated the credibility of the images based on several features. We found that participants’ Internet skills, photo-editing experience, and social media use were significant predictors of image credibility evaluation, while most social and heuristic cues of online credibility (e.g. source trustworthiness, bandwagon, intermediary trustworthiness) had no significant impact. Viewers’ attitude toward a depicted issue also positively influenced their credibility evaluation.
Cuihua Shen, Mona Kasra, Wenjing Pan, Grace A. Bassett, Yining Malloch, and James F. O'Brien. "Fake images: The effects of source, intermediary, and digital media literacy on contextual assessment of imag credibility online". New Media and Society, 21(2):438–463, February 2019.