Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/161714
Title: Internet users beware, you follow online health rumors (more than counter-rumors) irrespective of risk propensity and prior endorsement
Authors: Pal, Anjan
Banerjee, Snehasish
Keywords: Social sciences::Communication
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Pal, A. & Banerjee, S. (2021). Internet users beware, you follow online health rumors (more than counter-rumors) irrespective of risk propensity and prior endorsement. Information Technology and People, 34(7), 1721-1739. https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ITP-02-2019-0097
Journal: Information Technology and People 
Abstract: Purpose: The Internet is a breeding ground for rumors. A way to tackle the problem involves the use of counter-rumor messages that refute rumors. This paper analyzes users' intention to follow rumors and counter-rumors as a function of two factors: individuals' risk propensity and messages' prior endorsement. Design/methodology/approach: The paper conducted an online experiment. Complete responses from 134 participants were analyzed statistically. Findings: Risk-seeking users were keener to follow counter-rumors compared with risk-averse ones. No difference was detected in terms of their intention to follow rumors. Users' intention to follow rumors always exceeded their intention to follow counter-rumors regardless of whether prior endorsement was low or high. Research limitations/implications: This paper contributes to the scholarly understanding of people's behavioral responses when, unknowingly, exposed to rumors and counter-rumors on the Internet. Moreover, it dovetails the literature by examining how risk-averse and risk-seeking individuals differ in terms of intention to follow rumors and counter-rumors. It also shows how prior endorsement of such messages drives their likelihood to be followed. Originality/value: The paper explores the hitherto elusive question: When users are unknowingly exposed to both a rumor and its counter-rumor, which entry is likely to be followed more than the other? It also takes into consideration the roles played by individuals' risk propensity and messages' prior endorsement.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/161714
ISSN: 0959-3845
DOI: 10.1108/ITP-02-2019-0097
Schools: Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information 
Rights: © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Journal Articles

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