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The amplification of exaggerated and false news on social media: the roles of platform use, motivations, affect, and ideology

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-08-22, 15:09 authored by Andrew ChadwickAndrew Chadwick, Cristian VaccariCristian Vaccari, Johannes Kaiser
We use a unique, nationally representative, survey of UK social media users (n = 2,005) to identify the main factors associated with a specific and particularly troubling form of sharing behavior: the amplification of exaggerated and false news. Our conceptual framework and research design advance research in two ways. First, we pinpoint and measure behavior that is intended to spread, rather than correct or merely draw attention to, misleading information. Second, we test this behavior’s links to a wider array of explanatory factors than previously considered in research on mis-/disinformation. Our main findings are that a substantial minority—a tenth—of UK social media users regularly engages in the amplification of exaggerated or false news on UK social media. This behavior is associated with four distinctive, individual-level, factors: (1) increased use of Instagram, but not other public social media platforms, for political news; (2) what we term identity-performative sharing motivations; (3) negative affective orientation toward social media as a space for political news; and (4) right wing ideology. We discuss the implications of these findings and the need for further research on how platform affordances and norms, emotions, and ideology matter for the diffusion of dis-/misinformation.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Communication and Media

Published in

American Behavioral Scientist

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© SAGE Publications

Publisher statement

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Acceptance date

2021-03-16

Publication date

2022-08-21

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

0002-7642

eISSN

1552-3381

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Andrew Chadwick. Deposit date: 16 March 2021