Journal Article: “Twitter and Endorsed (Fake) News: The Influence of Endorsement by Strong Ties, Celebrities, and a User Majority on Credibility of Fake News During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
The article linked below was recently published by International Journal of Communication.
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
International Journal of Communication (IJOC)
Vol. 16 (2022)
Focusing on a widespread COVID-19 conspiracy theory, this study examines how social endorsement systems on Twitter, represented by retweets and metrics indicating the number of engagements by others, affect assessment of credibility of (fake) news. Expanding studies on social influence and endorsement-based heuristics, we hypothesized that Twitter users would consider fake news retweeted by a strong tie and with cues indicating a greater number of likes, comments, and retweets as more credible than news retweeted by a celebrity and without the cues. Through a two-by-two survey experiment among 267 Twitter users, we found evidence to support these hypotheses. We additionally found that the effectiveness of strong ties and celebrities as retweeters varied by users’ perceptions of their attributes and users’ interactions with them. These findings add to the literature of news credibility by demonstrating the effects of endorsements from social media contacts. Our study partly explains how and why fake news and disinformation spread in the networked online environment. We conclude this study by discussing implications for interventions of fake news on social media.
Direct to Full Text Article
23 pages; PDF.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.