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Designing and Testing News Literacy Messages for Social Media

As concerns grow about the spread of misinformation through social media, scholars have called for improving the public’s media literacy as a potential solution. This study examines the effectiveness of deploying news literacy (NL) messages on social media by testing whether NL tweets are able to affect perceptions of information credibility and NL beliefs. Using two experiments, this study tests NL tweets designed to (a) mitigate the impact of exposure to misinformation about two health issues (genetically modified foods and the flu vaccine) and (b) boost people’s perceptions of their own media literacy and media literacy’s value to society broadly. Findings suggest that NL messages are able to alter misinformation perceptions and NL beliefs, but not with a single message, suggesting the need to develop tailored and targeted NL campaigns that feature multiple messages and calls to action.