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Abstract

The focus of this study is to examine the motivations of online community members to share information and rumors. We investigated an online community of interest, the members of which voluntarily associate and communicate with people with similar interests. Community members, posters and lurkers alike, were surveyed on the influence of extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, as well as normative influences, on their willingness to share information and rumors with others. The results indicated that posters and lurkers are differently motivated by intrinsic factors to share, and that extrinsic rewards like improved reputation and status-building within the community are motivating factors for rumor mongering. The results are discussed and future directions for this area of research are offered.

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