When Good People Make Fake News Go Viral: The Role of Anger in Fake News Sharing on Social Media

Paper accepted for presentation by Mass Communication Division NCA 107th Annual Conference, November 18-21, 2021.

Abstract: Sharing fake news on social media has become a serious social issue. The aim of the current study was to investigate (a) how reading fake news might induce anger and, in turn, fake news sharing via social media and (b) the extent to which reading uncivil comments might moderate this relationship. By employing the experimental method, we explored this mechanism in the context of climate change (N = 184). Findings indicate that fake news evoked more intense anger among people than real news. We also found that felt anger toward fake news was more notable when uncivil comments followed the fake news. Moreover, the anger induced by fake news and certain types of comments related to sharing intention. Further theoretical contributions and limitations are discussed.

Youngji Seo 

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