Ability of detecting and willingness to share fake news

K. Peren Arin, Deni Mazrekaj, Marcel Thum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


By conducting large-scale surveys in Germany and the United Kingdom, we investigate the individual-level determinants of the ability to detect fake news and the inclination to share it. We distinguish between deliberate and accidental sharing of fake news. We document that accidental sharing is much more common than deliberate sharing. Furthermore, our results indicate that older, male, high-income, and politically left-leaning respondents better detect fake news. We also find that accidental sharing decreases with age and is more prevalent among right-leaning respondents. Deliberate sharing of fake news is more prevalent among younger respondents in the United Kingdom. Finally, our results imply that respondents have a good assessment of their ability to detect fake news: those we identified as accidental sharers were also more likely to have admitted to having shared fake news.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7298
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2023


  • Disinformation
  • Germany
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • United Kingdom


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