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Motivation Versus Intention of Sharing Fake News Among Social Media Users during the Pandemic - A SEM Model

  • Alvi, Irum (Department of Humanities, English and Applied Sciences (HEAS), Rajasthan Technical University) ;
  • Saraswat, Niraja (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Malaviya National Institute of Technology)
  • Published : 2021.12.31

Abstract

Are intentions important in deciding the outcome of an action such as sharing misinformation among social media users during the pandemic? What is their role and how far they are important for the very act of fake sharing news? The social media users' actions on the social platform are determined by what they plan to do themselves; however, their motivation has an immense role to play in the dissemination of fake news on social media. The study proposes a conceptual model for understanding how select factors affect fake news sharing motivation and intentions of social media users. The study scrutinizes the relationship between content and context, fear of missing out (FoMO), news verification and news sharing gratification on the motivation and intention of social media users of networked Asian society. Empirical Data were drawn from social media users (N = 243) from India, using an online questionnaire based on prior studies and structural equation modeling (SEM) approach was used to analyze the data collected. Results indicate that news content, news verification, and news sharing gratification have a direct and positive relationship with sharing motivation. On the other hand, news context and content, FoMO and news sharing gratification have a positive significant relationship with sharing intention. Likewise, it was discovered that news verification will decrease sharing intention of the social media users. However, news context, that is the pandemic in the case of the present study and FoMO were not identified as determinant variables for sharing motivation among social media users. The research limitations and further scope were discussed.

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