Title Teens' Motivations to Spread Fake News on WhatsApp
External publication No
Means Soc. Med. Soc.
Scope Article
Nature Científica
JCR Quartile 1
SJR Quartile 1
Area International
Publication date 01/07/2020
ISI 000566405600001
DOI 10.1177/2056305120942879
Abstract Younger people are exposed to misinformation that circulates rapidly on their mobile devices through instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp. Under the guise of news, an attractive format and outrage discourse, fake news appeal to their emotions by inviting them to distribute them impulsively. All of this is supported by a device-the mobile phone-in which the action of sharing is a matter of trust. Therefore, they are less likely to check a piece of content before resending it if it comes from a contact in their personal address book. To understand young people's habits when receiving informative content through WhatsApp and the reasons why they choose to share it or not, this study designed a "Questionnaire on Student Habits for Sharing Fake News on the Mobile" (CHECK-M), to measure young teenagers' exposure to "fake news" and their behavior. Empirical data, from a sample of 480 adolescents, confirmed that (1) they are more likely to share content if it connects with their interests, regardless of its truthfulness, that (2) trust affects the credibility of information, and that (3) the appearance of newsworthy information ensures that, regardless of the nature of the content, this information is more likely to be shared among young people.
Keywords disinformation; WhatsApp; teens; fake news; sharing behavior
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