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The Link Between Fake News Susceptibility and Political Polarization of the Youth in the Philippines

Misinformation, political polarization, its links, and negative societal consequences have long been studied in literature. This study contributes to this field by exploring the relationship of political polarization, using a novel measure that captures political support for President Duterte (representing the administration) against political support for Vice President Robredo (representing the opposition) on a spectrum, and the vulnerability of the Filipino youth to online misinformation through an online survey conducted among college-aged students in various colleges and universities across the Philippines. We find evidence that partisan supporters of President Duterte are more likely to inaccurately identify fake and real news, compared to partisan supporters of the opposition. This is remarkably similar to trends in the United States where Republicans are more vulnerable to misinformation. Other results also highlight possible trends, such as the link between increased self-reported frequency of seeing fake news and decreased likelihood of correctly identifying fake news, and the link between increased trust in news in social media and decreased odds of correctly identifying both real and fake news.

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