POLITICAL RUMORING ON TWITTER DURING THE 2012 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
AbstractAs much as Twitter played a major role in political discourse during the 2012 US presidential election, it also served as a conduit for unsubstantiated rumors and misinformation. Based on large-scale content analyzed Twitter messages (n=330,538), our exploratory analyses reveal that rumors about presidential candidates were mainly spread through a retweet button, yet hardly contested and corrected in a interactive process. Twitter showed a strong partisan structure for active rumor spreaders. However, rumor debunkers neither formed a cohesive community, nor exhibited a partisan structure. We found mixed results for the effects of rumor debunking effort. Professional rumor debunking sites (e.g., Factcheck.org) were relatively effective in curbing spread of satire-based rumors, but did not show significant influence on other types of rumors. Implications for the affordances of Twitter and effective rumor debunking strategies are discussed.
How to Cite
Shin, J., Jian, L., Driscoll, K., & Bar, F. (2018). POLITICAL RUMORING ON TWITTER DURING THE 2012 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 5. Retrieved from https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/8793