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ABSTRACT. This research synthesizes existing studies and investigates the vulnerabilities of Internet users to manipulations by malevolent participants. Using data from Katz Media, Pew Research Center, Statista, The Economist, Vision Critical, and YouGov, we performed analyses and made estimates regarding most likely sources of fake news stories in the U.S.A. and percentage of U.S. adults who are confident in their ability to recognize made-up news. Empirical and secondary data are used to support the claim that collecting information from socially proximate sources may be instrumental in legitimating the accuracy of information distributed on social networks, but readers infrequently authenticate the shared information.

Keywords: online habit; fake news audience; Internet user; manipulation; vulnerability

How to cite: Kirby, Raffaella, Katarina Valaskova, Juraj Kolencik, and Pavol Kubala (2018). “Online Habits of the Fake News Audience: The Vulnerabilities of Internet Users to Manipulations by Malevolent Participants,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 10(2): 44–50.

Received 18 February 2018 • Received in revised form 22 June 2018
Accepted 24 June 2018 • Available online 23 July 2018

doi:10.22381/GHIR10220185

RAFFAELLA KIRBY
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The Center for Labor Economics at CLI, Hamburg
(corresponding author)
KATARINA VALASKOVA
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Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications,
Department of Economics, University of Zilina, Zilina
JURAJ KOLENCIK
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Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications,
Department of Economics, University of Zilina, Zilina
PAVOL KUBALA
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Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications,
Department of Economics, University of Zilina, Zilina

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