Exploring the impact of social media exposure patterns on people’s belief in fake news during COVID-19: A cross-gender study

Yanhong Wu 1, Hasrina Mustafa 2 *
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1 Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, MALAYSIA
2 Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 13, Issue 3, Article No: e202326. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/13117
OPEN ACCESS   1191 Views   1464 Downloads   Published online: 26 Mar 2023
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ABSTRACT

During COVID-19, fake news on social media seriously threatened public health. As a solution to this problem, this study examined how social media exposure patterns affect people being deeply harmed by fake news. Based on cognitive dissonance theory, this study investigated the effect of intentional and incidental exposure on belief in fake news through the mediating role of confirmation bias. The results show that intentional exposure positively influences confirmation bias and belief in fake news. Incidental exposure is the opposite. Our results also show that intentional exposure and confirmation bias negatively influence incidental exposure. Furthermore, these relationships remain unchanged by gender. This study provides theoretical and empirical contributions to reducing people’s belief in fake news.

CITATION

Wu, Y., & Mustafa, H. (2023). Exploring the impact of social media exposure patterns on people’s belief in fake news during COVID-19: A cross-gender study. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 13(3), e202326. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/13117

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