The Impact of Posting URLs in Disaster-Related Tweets on Rumor Spreading Behavior

Proceedings of the 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-47) 2014, Forthcoming

10 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2013  

Yuko Tanaka

National Institute of Informatics

Yasuaki Sakamoto

AXA Direct Japan

Hidehito Honda

National Food Research Institute (NFRI)

Date Written: September 23, 2013

Abstract

Twitter is an example of social media, which allows its users to post text messages, known as “tweets,” of up to 140 characters. A tweet can include a shortened URL that provides further information that cannot be included in the tweet. Does including URLs in tweets influence the forwarding of the tweets during disasters, in which social media is flooded with unverified information? We conducted an experiment to answer this question. The results showed that posting URLs in disaster-related tweets increased rumor-spreading behavior even though the URLs lacked the hyperlink function. We identified some psychological factors that could explain this effect. We conclude by discussing the vulnerability of social media to rumor transmission in light of our results.

Keywords: rumor, social media, disaster, decision making

Suggested Citation

Tanaka, Yuko and Sakamoto, Yasuaki and Honda, Hidehito, The Impact of Posting URLs in Disaster-Related Tweets on Rumor Spreading Behavior (September 23, 2013). Proceedings of the 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-47) 2014, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2329564

Yuko Tanaka (Contact Author)

National Institute of Informatics ( email )

2-1-2 Hitotsubashi
Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, 1018430
Japan

Yasuaki Sakamoto

AXA Direct Japan ( email )

Japan

Hidehito Honda

National Food Research Institute (NFRI) ( email )

2-1-12 Kannondai
Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642
Japan

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