Swamped: Misinformation and information overload

Ran Wei*, Wenting Yu, Jing Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the relationship between COVID-19 misinformation and information overload and avoidance in the late stage of global COVID-19 pandemic in 2022. Results from new telephone survey data in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taipei show that information overload and the tendency to avoid information about COVID-19 were significantly related to respondents’ demographics. Male and older respondents were more overloaded than were female and younger respondents. Further, male respondents had a higher level of avoidance than female respondents. But those who were more educated were less overloaded; they were less likely to avoid information. In addition, exposure to both information and misinformation about the pandemic was also significantly related to the mental state of overload, which was strongly related to information avoidance. Information overload was the strongest predictor—when overwhelmed, respondents quit. Across the four cities, respondents in Singapore under the living with COVID policy were the most overloaded; respondents in Hong Kong had the strongest tendency to avoid information.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMiscommunicating the COVID-19 Pandemic
Subtitle of host publicationAn Asia Perspective
EditorsRan Wei
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003355984
ISBN (Print)9781032408880, 9781032410470
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Internationalizing Media Studies

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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