New Publication at CSCW 2023

23 Mar 2023

New paper on "Mechanisms of True and False Rumor Sharing in Social Media: Collective Intelligence or Herd Behavior?" accepted by CSCW 2023.

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The new paper by Prof. Stefan Feuerriegel (LMU) and Prof. Nicolas Pröllochs (Uni Gießen), on the topic of Mechanisms of True and False Rumor Sharing in Social Media: Collective Intelligence or Herd Behavior? has been accepted by the ACM Conference On Computer-Supported Cooperative Work And Social Computing (CSCW 2023).


Social media platforms disseminate extensive volumes of online content, including true and, in particular, false rumors. Previous literature has studied the diffusion of offline rumors, yet more research is needed to understand the diffusion of online rumors. In this paper, we examine the role of lifetime and crowd effects in social media sharing behavior for true vs. false rumors. Based on 126,301 Twitter cascades, we find that the sharing behavior is characterized by lifetime and crowd effects that explain differences in the spread of true as opposed to false rumors. All else equal, we find that a longer lifetime is associated with less sharing activities, yet the reduction in sharing is larger for false than for true rumors. Hence, lifetime is an important determinant explaining why false rumors die out. Furthermore, we find that the spread of false rumors is characterized by herding tendencies (rather than collective intelligence), whereby the spread of false rumors becomes proliferated at a larger retweet depth. These findings explain differences in the diffusion dynamics of true and false rumors and further offer practical implications for social media platforms.