What Makes News Sharable on Social Media?
Keywords:news, sharing, social media, misinformation
With the rise of social media, everyone has the potential to be both a consumer and producer of online content. Although one might assume that people share news because they believe it to be true, worldwide concerns about the spread of misinformation suggest that truthfulness may not be a dominant driver of sharing online. Across three studies (total N=3,492), we investigate what content dimensions are associated with social media sharing intentions for a wide range of news headlines. When we examine the relationships between content dimensions using factor analysis, we consistently find separate factors capturing perceived accuracy and evocativeness. The perceived accuracy factor was positively correlated with both sharing intentions and the headline’s objective veracity. However, while the evocativeness factor was also positively correlated with sharing intentions, it was consistently negatively correlated with the headline’s objective veracity.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Xi Chen, Gordon Pennycook, David Rand
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.