When Wide and Shallow Better than Narrow and Deep: Misinformation Correction across Social Media Platforms

Primary author: Wenqing Zhao
Co-author(s): Mina Park
Faculty sponsor: mina.park@wsu.edu

Primary college/unit: Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Campus: Pullman


Since social media has become a major platform of spreading misinformation and reinforcing misperception, scholars and practitioners have devoted to correct misleading content on social media. In line with these efforts, this study tries to figure out how to use social media effectively to combat misinformation. In particular, this study examines the effects of using multiple social media platforms in correcting vaccine misinformation compared to using a single social media platform given the consistent number of times of corrective message exposure. To test the hypotheses, a between-subjects online experiment was conducted. The results showed that people exposed to corrective messages on multiple social media platforms have higher level of positive evaluations for corrective messages and more positive attitudes toward vaccination compared to those exposed to the same messages on a single social media platform. The findings suggested that multi-platform correction is a promising technique for misinformation correction. This study has both theoretical and practical implications of misinformation correction and social media.