Estrella Gualda e-mail(Login required) , José Rúas e-mail(Login required)

Main Article Content


Estrella Gualda e-mail(Login required)
José Rúas e-mail(Login required)


The rapid spread of social media on the Internet has resulted in strong changes in the information and communication landscape. Their inadequate use has given rise to new discussions on truth and post-truth, what is trustworthy and what is questionable, the credibility of messages and their sources. Through this article we aim to examine what citizens believe about the information they receive and if they feel whether or not there is withholding of information. This will be achieved through data obtained from a survey of a statistically representative sample of the Andalusian population over the age of 18 (1,103 respondents, with a maximum margin of error of +/- 3%). One of the main results of this research is the serious lack of credibility of the information received, as many Andalusians (68.1%) believe that information is withheld from them. We have also observed several factors explaining a greater likelihood of finding a high belief in the conspiracy theory on the withholding of information. Finally, the article reflects on the consequences of mistrust in information and we propose an inter- and transdisciplinary approach in order to counteract this mistrust.


Credibility, trustworthiness, disinformation, conspiracy theories, post-truth.


Barthel, M. & Mitchell, A. (2017). Americans´ attitudes about the news media deeply divided along partisan lines. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from 2017/05/10/americans-attitudes-about-the-news-media-deeply-divided-alongpartisan- lines/.

Barthel, M., Mitchell, A. & Holcomb, J. (2016). Many americans believe fake news is sowing confusion. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from many-americans-believe-fake-news-is-sowing-confusion/.

Bennett, W. L. & Livingston, S. (2018). The disinformation order: Disruptive communication and the decline of democratic institutions. European Journal of Communication, 33(2), 122-139.

Bruder, M., Haffke, P., Neave, N., Nouripanah, N. & Imhoff, R (2013). Measuring individual differences in generic beliefs in conspiracy theories across cultures: Conspiracy Mentality Questionnaire. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 225. fpsyg.2013.00225.

Butter, M. (2014). Plots, Designs, and Schemes. American Conspiracy Theories from the Puritans to the present. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Cabedoche, B. (2015). New challenges for journalism education: A contribution to UNESCO politics. In L. Kramp, N. Carpentier, A. Hepp et al. (Eds.), Journalism, Representation and the Public Sphere (pp. 57-68). Bremen: Edition Lumiére, 57-68.

Campos-Freire, F. (2010). Nuevos modelos de gestión de las empresas mediáticas. Estudios sobre el Mensaje Periodístico, 16, 13-30.

Carey, J. (1989). Communication as Culture. Boston: Unwin Hyman.

Cirdei, I. & Ispas, L. (2017). A possible answer of the European Union to Hybrid Threats. Scientific Bulletin, 44(2), 1-8.

Comisión Europea (2017). EU welcomes establishment of the Finnish centre of excellence for countering hybrid threats. Retrieved from headQuarters-homepage/24572/eu-welcomes-establishment-finnish-centreexcellence- countering-hybrid-threats_en.

Del Vicario, M., Quattrociocchi, W., Scala, A. & Zollo, F. (2018). Polarization and Fake News: Early Warning of Potential Misinformation Targets. ARXIV. Retrieved from http://

Dincer, O. & Uslaner, E. (2010). Trust and growth. Public Choice, 142, 59-67.

Domenach, J. M. (1963). La Propaganda Política. Buenos Aires: Eudeba.

Durandin, G. (1983). La mentira en la propaganda política y en la publicidad. Barcelona: Paidós.

European Comission (2018). Eurobarometer 464 on “Fake News and Disinformation on line”. Retrieved from getsurveydetail/instruments/flash/surveyky/2183.

Flanagin, A. J. & Metzger, M. J. (2007). The role of site features, user attributes and information verification behaviors on the perceived credibility of web-based information. New Media and Society, 9(2), 319-342. 1461444807075015.

García-Noblejas, J. J. (1998). Medios de Conspiración Social. Pamplona: Eunsa.

Harsin, J. (2015). Regimes of posttruth, postpolitics and attention economies. Communication, culture & Critique, 8(2), 327-333.

Hernández, A. (2017). Resiliencia de la organización de la información en la era de las posverdad. Alcance, 6(14), 47-59. High-Level Expert Group on Fake news and Disinformation (2018). A multi-dimensional approach to disinformation. Report of the independent High level Group on fake news and online disinformation. March. European Commission, Directorate-General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology, Luxemburg. Retrieved from be1d-01aa75ed71a1/language-en.

Howell, W. L. (2013). Digital wildfires in a hyperconnected world. World Economic Forum, Tech. Rep. Global Risks. Retrieved from 2013/risk-case-1/digital-wildfires-in-a-hyperconnected-world/.

Imhoff, R. & Bruder, M. (2013). Speaking (un-)truth to power: Conspiracy mentality as a generalised political attitude. European Journal of Personality, 28, 25-43.

Jay, M. (2010). The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Keyes, R. (2004). The Post-Truth Era. Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life. New York: St. Martin´s Press.

Krouwel, A., Kutiyskib, Y., van Prooijenac, J-W., Martinssond, J. & Markstedtd, E. (2017). Does Extreme Political Ideology Predict Conspiracy Beliefs, Economic Evaluations and Political Trust? Evidence From Sweden. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 5(2), 435–462,

Lantian, A., Muller, D., Nurra, C. & Douglas, K. M. (2016). Measuring Belief in Conspiracy Theories: Validation of a French and English Single-Item Scale. International Review of Social Psychology, 29(1), 1–14.

Luoma-aho, V. L. & Makikangas, M. E. (2014). Do public sector mergers (re) shape reputation? International Journal of Public Sector Management, 27(1), 39-52.

Macnamara, J. (2018). Public Relations and Post-Communication. Addressing a paradox in public communication. Public Relations Journal, 11(3), 1-20.

Meyer, P. (1988). Defining and measuring credibility of newspapers: Developing an index. Journalism Quarterly, 65, 567-574.

Mosco, V. (1996). The Political Economy of Communication. London: Sage.

Moulding, R., Nix-Carnell, S., Schnabel, A., Nedeljkovic, M., Burnside, E. E., Lentini, A. F. & Mehzabin, N. (2016). Better the devil you known than a world you don’t? Intolerance of uncertainty and worldview explanations for belief in conspiracy theories. Personality and Individual Differences, 98, 345-354.

Ortiz, Y., Villafañe, J. & Caffarel, C. (2018). Investigación para la evaluación de la reputación de los medios de comunicación. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 73, 845-869.

Patel, M. (2017). Detection of Malicious Authored News Articles. Albert Nerken School of Engineering. Doctoral Thesis. Retrieved from files/uploads/assets/MirajPatel_Masters_Thesis.pdf.

Rúas, J. & García, F. .J. (2018). Persuasión y neurociencias. Apelar al cerebro. Salamanca: Comunicación Social.

Rúas, J., Mazaira, A. & Rodríguez, A. I. (2018). Nuevos medios y medios tradicionales en la red. Espacios de opinión e interacción política en la era Trump. Icono14, 16(1), 86-113.

Rúas, J. & Capdevila, A. (2017). “La comunicación política hoy: retos y amenazas”. Communication & Society, 30(3), 145-153. https://www.doiorg/10.15581/

Sánchez, J. (2018). La presencia y la simulación en redes sociales. Más Poder Local, 34. Retrieved from pdf.

Segovia, A. (2017). La integración de los medios en la élite del poder. Revista Internacional de Comunicación y Desarrollo, 7, 19-22.

Swami, V., Barron, D., Weis, L., Voracek, M., Stieger, S. & Furnham, A. (2017). An examination of the factorial and convergent validity of four measures of conspiracist ideation, with recommendations for researchers. PLoS ONE, 12(2), e0172617. 10.1371/journal.pone.0172617.

Taksdal, H. (2017). All the president´s lies: Media coverage of lies in the US and France. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. University of Oxford. Retrieved from lies-us-and-france.

Tesich, S. (1992). A Government of Lies. The Nation.

Timoteo, J. (2015) (Ed.). Los intangibles en el valor de las empresas. Madrid: Díaz de Santos.

Tuñón, J. (2017). Comunicación Internacional. Información y desinformación global en el siglo XXI. Madrid: Fragua.

Uscinski, J. E., Klofstad, C. & Atkinson, M. D. (2016). What Drives Conspiratorial Beliefs? The Role of Informational Cues and Predispositions. Political Research Quarterly, 69(2), 57-71.

Van Prooijen, J. W. (2017). Why education predicts decreased belief in conspiracy theories. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 31, 50-58.

Watzlawick, P. (1994). ¿Es real la realidad? Confusión, desinformación, comunicación. Barcelona: Editorial Herder.

Weir, W. (2009). History´s Greatest Lies. Beverly: Fair Winds Press.


Search GoogleScholar


Article Details

Special Issue: Articles: Credibility and Trust in Post-Truth Times and the Network Society