Fake News as a Socio-political-psychological Phenomenon: Evidence from China

Visiting Scholar Talks

Nov 16, 2023 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Common Room (#136), 2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA,


Yan Wenjie | Professor, Political Communication, Beijing Normal University; HYI Visiting Scholar, 2023-24


Matthew Baum | Marvin Kalb Professor of Global Communications and Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Department of Government, Harvard University

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

The spread of online falsity is one of the most pressing global challenges of the day. It is detrimental to the proper functioning of a society, because it blocks quality information, erodes social trust, and breeds group conflicts. It is also a serious concern in China. With hundreds of millions of users, Chinese social media have been awash with unfiltered misinformation. How gullible are people to misinformation on social media? What are the factors that may contribute to their patterns of veracity judgment and behavioral tendencies? What are the preventative measures at our disposal we might possibly use as social interventions? This talk is to provide some initial answers to these questions by presenting results from a set of survey experiments on samples of Chinese Internet users. By drawing upon empirical evidence from a non-Western population, this talk is aimed to shed further light on our understanding of false news.