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Title: Official sources, news outlets, or search engines? Rumour validation on social media during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

This study, based on data collected from a representative sample of adults in the United States, explores the social cognitive variables that motivated Americans to validate rumours on social media about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, both of which struck in August/September 2017. The results indicate that risk perception and negative emotions are positively related to systematic processing of relevant risk information, and that systematic processing is significantly related to rumour validation through search engines such as Google. In contrast, trust in information about the hurricane is significantly related to validation through official sources, such as FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), and major news outlets such asThe New York Times. Trust in information is also significantly related to systematic processing of risk information. The findings of this study suggest that ordinary citizens may be motivated to validate rumours on social media, which is an increasingly important issue in contemporary societies.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10371361
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley-Blackwell
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Disasters
Volume:
47
Issue:
1
ISSN:
0361-3666
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 163-180
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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