In the digital era, text-image messages have gained significant traction on social media. Besides enhancing the efficiency of information exchange on social media (Aydin 2020), such vivid form of messages also facilitates online rumor dissemination. Dissemination of rumors can have serious consequences. Rumors may mislead well-intentioned individuals who seek help, causing psychological distress and distorted perceptions (DiFonzo et al. 1994). Moreover, when spreading on a large scale, they have the potential to disturb police investigations, create chaos and panic, and seduce stigma and polarization (Huang et al. 2015). In the context of online rumors spreading, text-image rumors stand out as they effectively convey information through a synergistic combination of textual and visual elements as images possess the advantages of capturing individuals’ attention and enhancing their memory retention. While the prevalence of this form of rumor on social media is increasing, researchers and platform administrators have limited knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms that drive their viral dissemination, including how text and images synergistically lead to the dissemination of online rumors.

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