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Partisan Selective Sharing: The Biased Diffusion of Fact‐Checking Messages on Social Media


Journal of Communication

Published online on


Using large Twitter datasets collected during the 2012 U.S. presidential election, we examined how partisanship shapes patterns of sharing and commenting on candidate fact‐check rulings. Our results indicate that partisans selectively share fact‐checking messages that cheerlead their own candidate and denigrate the opposing party's candidate, resulting in an ideologically narrow flow of fact checks to their followers. We also find evidence of hostile media perception in users' public accusations of bias on the part of fact‐checking organizations. Additionally, Republicans showed stronger outgroup negativity and hostility toward fact checkers than Democrats. These findings help us understand “selective sharing” as a complementary process to selective exposure, as well as identifying asymmetries between partisans in their sharing practices.