In recent years, the use of social media has become a fact of life for civil society. While social media can be used to provide up-to-date, locally relevant information, making it an effective coordination tool in social movements, it also can be used to spread fake messages that can harm individuals, organizations, and even society. To date, research on social media use has focused on sharing general information; there is a significant need to extend our understanding of message retransmission on social media that accounts for the full spectrum of possibilities (information, misinformation and rumor). This research-in-progress paper proposes a model and a planned empirical approach that can provide such an integrative account. Our starting point is the observation that the presentation of a message—particularly the presentation of message source and content—is a key driver of message retransmission. Our work offers potentially important implications for research and practice.
Liu, Fang; Burton-Jones, Andrew; and Xu, Dongming, "Effects of Source and Content on the Retransmission of Rumor, Information, and Misinformation on Social Media" (2013). ACIS 2013 Proceedings. 82.