Dysfunctional information sharing on WhatsApp and Facebook: The role of political talk, cross-cutting exposure and social corrections

Patrícia Rossini, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Erica Anita Baptista, Vanessa Veiga de Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this study, we investigate dysfunctional information sharing on WhatsApp and Facebook, focusing on two explanatory variables—frequency of political talk and cross-cutting exposure—and potential remedies, such as witnessing, experiencing, and performing social corrections. Results suggest that dysfunctional sharing is pervasive, with nearly a quarter reporting sharing misinformation on Facebook and WhatsApp, but social corrections also occur relatively frequently. Platform matters, with corrections being more likely to be experienced or expressed on WhatsApp than Facebook. Taken together, our results suggest that the intimate nature of WhatsApp communication has important consequences for the dynamics of misinformation sharing, particularly with regard to facilitating social corrections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Disinformation
  • Facebook
  • Misinformation
  • Social media
  • WhatsApp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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