Information re-sharing on social network sites in the age of fake news

October 25, 2017, University of Redlands

Recent research, Information Re-Sharing on Social Network Sites in the Age of Fake News, conducted by Dr. Mehrdad Koohikamali, assistant professor in the School of Business at the University of Redlands, and Dr. Anna Sidorova, associate professor of information technology and decision sciences at University of North Texas, looks at resharing behavior on social network sites (SNS) and how the perception of the three dimensions of information quality—reliability, relevance, and enjoyment—could influence users' intention to re-share the content they see on SNSs.

"During extreme events such as shootings, social crisis, and natural disasters, most users do not have direct access to real information," Koohikamaili said. "Because people want to react and fill in the blanks, they tend to spread information rapidly no matter whether or not the news is true or false and the source is trustworthy or not. Results of this careless and sporadic behavior can go beyond the online context and have several negative impacts on the society, physically and psychologically."

Research findings indicate most social media users do not invest time in analyzing the information content and source before re-sharing it, Koohikamali said. "The enjoyment dimension of information quality, however, is a significant predictor of re-sharing on SNSs. We also found people who have higher risk-taking propensities tend to re-share information more frequently due to some personal motives such as online reputation."

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