Complicating the Resilience Model: A Four-Country Study About Misinformation

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Complicating the Resilience Model: A Four-Country Study About Misinformation


  • Shelley Boulianne Department of Sociology, MacEwan University, Canada
  • Chris Tenove Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Jordan Buffie Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, Canada


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Abstract:  The resilience model to disinformation (Humprecht et al., 2020, 2021) suggests that countries will differ in exposure and reactions to disinformation due to their distinct media, economic, and political environments. In this model, higher media trust and the use of public service broadcasters are expected to build resilience to disinformation, while social media use and political polarization undermine resilience. To further test and develop the resilience model, we draw on a four-country (the US, Canada, the UK, and France) survey conducted in February 2021. We focus on three individual-level indicators of a lack of resilience: awareness of, exposure to, and sharing of misinformation. We find that social media use is associated with higher levels of all three measures, which is consistent with the resilience model. Social media use decreases resilience to misinformation. Contrary to the expectations of the resilience model, trust in national news media does not build resilience. Finally, we consider the use of public broadcasting media (BBC, France Télévisions, and CBC). The use of these sources does not build resilience in the short term. Moving forward, we suggest that awareness of, exposure to, and reactions to misinformation are best understood in terms of social media use and left–right ideology. Furthermore, instead of focusing on the US as the exceptional case of low resilience, we should consider the UK as the exceptional case of high resilience to misinformation. Finally, we identify potential avenues to further develop frameworks to understand and measure resilience to misinformation.

Keywords:  Canada; comparative politics; France; misinformation; news media; political ideology; social media; United Kingdom; United States

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v10i3.5346


© Shelley Boulianne, Chris Tenove, Jordan Buffie. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.