Spread of misinformation on social media: What contributes to it and how to combat it

Sijing Chen, Lu Xiao, Akit Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


With the prevalence and increasing impact of misinformation on social media, numerous studies have explored the characteristics of misinformation. However, we lack a holistic understanding of what factors contribute to the viral spread of misinformation on social media and what strategies have been proposed to combat the phenomenon. Given the importance of these questions to misinformation research, this study aims to (a) provide a systematic and structured overview of the factors that influence the spread of misinformation by analyzing the four vital elements of information communication, namely, source, message, context, and receiver and (b) summarize the current state of research on strategies against the spread of misinformation on social media from various perspectives and discuss their advantages, disadvantages, and effectiveness. Following the process of a systematic literature review, this study identifies and analyzes 423 relevant articles. Finally, we highlight research gaps in the existing literature and recommend directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107643
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Disinformation
  • Fake news
  • Misinformation
  • Social media
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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