This file photo taken on Dec. 28, 2016 shows logos of US online social media and social networking service Facebook in Vertou, western France. / AFP / LOIC VENANCE
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The person who shares a news story on social media is more important than the story's actual source in determining whether readers believe it, a study by the Media Insight Project has found.The Associated Press was labeled as the story's author in the post shown to half of the participants while for the other half, the story was said to be from a fictional source, DailyNewsReview.com. Half of the participants saw the story was shared by a public figure they had previously said they trusted, such as Oprah Winfrey or Dr. Oz. For the other half, the story was shared by a famous person they said they didn't trust.Fifty percent of participants said the health story got the facts right when it was shared by the person they trusted, while only 35 percent said the same thing when they didn't trust the sharer, the study found. By contrast, the original source – AP or the fictional site – made little difference to readers' perceptions about the article.For example, 52 percent of people said they believed that the article attributed to the AP had the facts right if it had been passed on by a trusted figure.
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