Transparency, Trust, and Security Needs for the Design of Digital News Authentication Tools

Errol Francis, Ayana Monroe, Emily Sidnam-Mauch, Bernat Ivancsics, Eve Washington, Susan E. Mcgregor, Joseph Bonneau, Kelly Caine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Americans' trust in news is declining, and authenticity and transparency challenges in digital publishing contexts pose unique challenges to the ability to effectively gratify their information-seeking needs via online media. Cryptographic technologies and web-based provenance indicators have the potential to enhance the trustworthiness and transparency of digital communication, but better understandings of news consumers practices and needs are required to develop practical tools. Through a representative online survey of 400 digital news consumers and 19 follow-up interviews, we investigate how users authenticate and assign trust to news content, and identify specific needs pertaining to news transparency and authentication that could be met by digital news authentication tools. While many users currently rely on political ideology to assess news trustworthiness, we find that users of all political orientations see value in independent provenance and authentication tools for digital news.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number1 CSCW
StatePublished - Apr 16 2023


  • information authenticity
  • usability and human interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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