Are you passing along something true or false? Dissemination of social media messages about genetically modified organisms

Qian Xu*, Celine SONG, Nan Yu, Shi Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Using network analysis, this study investigates how information veracity and account verification influence the dissemination of information in the context of discourse about genetically modified organisms on social media. We discovered that misinformation and true information about genetically modified organisms demonstrated different dissemination patterns on social media. In general, the dissemination networks of misinformation about genetically modified organisms were found to have higher structural stability than those of true information about genetically modified organisms, as shown by the denser network structure with fewer distinct subgroups residing within the dissemination networks. More importantly, unverified account status significantly boosted the dissemination of misinformation by increasing network density. In addition, we found that the posts about genetically modified organisms from unverified accounts received more reposts and had more layers of information relay than those from the verified accounts. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings on combating misinformation are discussed in the article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-301
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • account verification status
  • genetically modified organisms
  • information dissemination
  • information veracity
  • social media

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Are you passing along something true or false? Dissemination of social media messages about genetically modified organisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this