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Does KFC sell rat? Analysis of tweets in the wake of a rumor outbreak

Does KFC sell rat? Analysis of tweets in the wake of a rumor outbreak PurposeIn the wake of a rumor outbreak, individuals exchange three types of messages: rumor messages, counter-rumor messages, and uncertainty-expressing messages. However, the properties of the three types of messages are relatively unknown particularly in the social media context. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to examine these three types of messages posted on social media in the wake of a rumor outbreak.Design/methodology/approachData included tweets posted after the outbreak of a rumor that wrongly accused the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) for selling rats instead of chicken. Using a deductive approach, codes were derived via content analysis on the tweets. Volume and exposure of tweets were also examined.FindingsCounter-rumor tweets (52 percent) outnumbered rumors tweets (32 percent) and uncertainty-expressing tweets (16 percent). Emotions and personal involvement were abundant in rumor tweets. Expressions of credence and references to URLs were high in counter-rumor tweets. Social ties were found widely in uncertainty-expressing tweets. The high volume and exposure of counter-rumor tweets compared with those of either rumor tweets or uncertainty-expressing tweets highlight the potential of counter-rumors to mitigate rumors.Originality/valueThis research ventures into a relatively unexplored territory by concurrently examining rumor messages, counter-rumor messages and uncertainty-expressing messages in the wake of a rumor outbreak. It reveals that counter-rumor messages have the potential to mitigate rumors on social media. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aslib Journal of Information Management Emerald Publishing

Does KFC sell rat? Analysis of tweets in the wake of a rumor outbreak

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-3806
DOI
10.1108/AJIM-01-2017-0026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeIn the wake of a rumor outbreak, individuals exchange three types of messages: rumor messages, counter-rumor messages, and uncertainty-expressing messages. However, the properties of the three types of messages are relatively unknown particularly in the social media context. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to examine these three types of messages posted on social media in the wake of a rumor outbreak.Design/methodology/approachData included tweets posted after the outbreak of a rumor that wrongly accused the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) for selling rats instead of chicken. Using a deductive approach, codes were derived via content analysis on the tweets. Volume and exposure of tweets were also examined.FindingsCounter-rumor tweets (52 percent) outnumbered rumors tweets (32 percent) and uncertainty-expressing tweets (16 percent). Emotions and personal involvement were abundant in rumor tweets. Expressions of credence and references to URLs were high in counter-rumor tweets. Social ties were found widely in uncertainty-expressing tweets. The high volume and exposure of counter-rumor tweets compared with those of either rumor tweets or uncertainty-expressing tweets highlight the potential of counter-rumors to mitigate rumors.Originality/valueThis research ventures into a relatively unexplored territory by concurrently examining rumor messages, counter-rumor messages and uncertainty-expressing messages in the wake of a rumor outbreak. It reveals that counter-rumor messages have the potential to mitigate rumors on social media.

Journal

Aslib Journal of Information ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 20, 2017

References