Selective Belief: How Partisanship Drives Belief in Misinformation

In this article, we analyze the relationship among belief in misinformation, social
media use, and partisanship. Through a cross-sectional survey (N = 1,820) on the 2019 Indonesian national elections, we show that although the political use of social media is not associated with belief in misinformation, partisanship is strongly associated with belief in various types of misinformation, depending on whether their own candidate or the opposing candidate is targeted. We build on prior studies on selective exposure, selective sharing, and motivated reasoning and suggest that the concept of selective belief plays an important role in following misinformation. This study contributes to theoretical debates on the association among belief in misinformation, social media use, and partisanship, and addresses the role of disinformation in electoral politics in Indonesia.

Published by Taberez A. Neyazi

I am Assistant Professor of Political Communication and New Media and Director of Digital Campaign Asia at the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore.

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