COVID-19 and fake news dissemination among Malaysians: Motives and its sociodemographic correlates

Balakrishnan, Vimala (2022) COVID-19 and fake news dissemination among Malaysians: Motives and its sociodemographic correlates. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 73. ISSN 2212-4209, DOI

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This paper investigates the motives behind the dissemination of fake news and examines its sociodemographic correlates, namely, gender, age, frequency of using social media and frequency of accessing digital news. A fake news dissemination framework comprising three motives were used to fulfil the aim of the study, namely, Altruism, Attitude and Pass Time. Online questionnaires were distributed resulting in the recruitment of 869 Malaysians (18-59 years old). Linear regressions revealed all three motives to significantly and positively predict fake news dissemination. Further analysis revealed females to engage in fake news dissemination significantly less than males for Pass Time purpose, whereas younger people tend to significantly disseminate more false content for Altruistic purpose than the older cohorts. Individuals who spent less than an hour daily accessing digital news were found to significantly share more fake news for Attitude and Altruism reasons compared to those who spent more than 5 h daily. The identification of the sociodemographic correlates and unique motives for fake news dissemination is deemed beneficial to authorities such as online content regulators and policy makers in order to design more effective strategies to combat the promulgation of such harmful news.

Item Type: Article
Funders: None
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fake news; Malaysia; Sociodemographic; Motives; COVID-19
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology > Department of Information System
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2023 03:39
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 02:39

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