APJIS Asia Pacific Journal of Information Systems

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The Journal for Information Professionals

Asia Pacific Journal of Information Systems (APJIS), a Scopus and ABDC indexed journal, is a
flagship journal of the information systems (IS) field in the Asia Pacific region.

ISSN 2288-5404 (Print) / ISSN 2288-6818 (Online)

Editor : Hee-Woong Kim

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Current Issue

Date December 2019
Vol. No. Vol. 29 No. 4
DOI https://doi.org/10.14329/apjis.2019.29.4.591
Page 591~614
Title Why Do People Spread Online Rumors? An Empirical Study
Author Jong-Hyun Kim, Gee-Woo Bock, Rajiv Sabherwal, Han-Min Kim
Keyword Online Rumors, Dual Process Theory, De-individuation Theory, Perceived Credibility, Anonymity, Social Media
Abstract With the proliferation of social media, it has become easier for people to spread rumors online, which can aggravate the issues arising from online rumors. There are many individuals and organizations that are adversely affected by malicious online rumors. Despite their importance, there has been little research into why and how people spread rumors online, thus inhibiting the understanding of factors that affect the spreading of online rumors. With attention seeking to address this gap, this paper draws upon the dual process theory and the de-individuation theory to develop a theoretical model of factors affecting the spreading of an online rumor, and then empirically tests it using survey data from 211 individuals about a specific rumor. The results indicate that the perceived credibility of the rumor affects the individuals’ attitudes toward spreading it, which consequently affects the rumor spreading behavior. Vividness, confirmation of prior beliefs, argument strength, and source credibility positively influence the perceived credibility of online rumors. Finally, anonymity moderates the relationship between attitude toward spreading online rumors and the spreading behavior.


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