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
Date Written: September 23, 2013
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
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