Media, Policy, and Public Opinion

News literacy, social media behaviors, and skepticism toward information on social media

Vraga, E.K.; Tully, M.


Amid growing concerns about misinformation on social media, scholars, educators, and commentators see news literacy as a means to improve critical media consumption. We use a nationally-representative sample to investigate the relationship between news literacy (NL), seeing and posting news and political content on social media, and skepticism toward information shared on social media. This study finds NL and related orientations contribute to who is seeing and sharing information on social media, with those who are more knowledgeable about media structures seeing and sharing less content. Moreover, those who are more news literate and value NL are more skeptical of information quality on social media. Seeing and posting news and political content on social media are not associated with skepticism. This study suggests that NL plays an important role in shaping perceptions of information shared online.