Misinformation in the chinese weibo

Lu Xiao, Sijing Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Social media users are increasingly influenced by misinformation and disinformation as the techniques offer affordances to rapidly spread information to large groups of people. Most of the existing studies about misinformation and disinformation are in the context of Western cultures, the influence of misinformation in Chinese context is underexplored. To fill this research gap, this study analyzed 26,138 Weibo posts that are marked as containing misinformation. We performed a frequency analysis of these posts’ metadata and the top 50 frequent nouns, verbs, and adjectives in the dataset, and examined the sentiment in the content. Our results show that many posts that contain misinformation tactically target topics that Chinese people are already concerned about. The persuasion literature implies that these characteristics increase the persuasive power of the posts. With the forward-asking verbs are frequently used in the posts, one behavior that the receivers are persuaded to perform is to share these posts with the others, which can contribute to the virality of the misinformation. Another alarming finding is that a large proportion of our collected posts asked the receivers for help and the posts showed gratitude to acknowledge the forwarding and helping behavior. Based on the trust literature and the notion that trust as a social reality, we discuss the potentially severe negative impact these posts can impose on the society as they undermine Weibo users’ trustfulness to others and to the social media platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Computing and Social Media. Design, Ethics, User Behavior, and Social Network Analysis - 12th International Conference, SCSM 2020, Held as Part of the 22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, Proceedings
EditorsGabriele Meiselwitz
PublisherSpringer
Pages407-418
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030495695
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Event12th International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media, SCSM 2020, held as part of the 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2020 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: Jul 19 2020Jul 24 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12194 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference12th International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media, SCSM 2020, held as part of the 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2020
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period7/19/207/24/20

Keywords

  • Misinformation
  • Persuasion
  • Trust
  • Weibo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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  • Cite this

    Xiao, L., & Chen, S. (2020). Misinformation in the chinese weibo. In G. Meiselwitz (Ed.), Social Computing and Social Media. Design, Ethics, User Behavior, and Social Network Analysis - 12th International Conference, SCSM 2020, Held as Part of the 22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, Proceedings (pp. 407-418). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 12194 LNCS). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49570-1_28