What is it about?
The Internet is a breeding ground for rumors. A way to tackle the problem involves the use of counter-rumors—messages that refute rumors. When users are unbeknownstly exposed to both a rumor and its counter-rumor, which entry is likely to be followed more than the other? This intriguing question is what the paper explores. Intention to follow is defined as users’ decision to act as recommended by a message. The paper also teases out the roles played by individuals’ risk propensity and messages’ prior endorsement on intention to follow.
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Why is it important?
Online health rumors have serious repercussions. For one, most people seek health information online as one of the first tasks after experiencing a health concern. Moreover, they often intend to follow online messages to make healthcare decisions without consulting medics. Health rumors therefore can mislead users, duping them into taking actions that they would not have taken otherwise.
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This page is a summary of: Internet users beware, you follow online health rumors (more than counter-rumors) irrespective of risk propensity and prior endorsement, Information Technology and People, December 2020, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/itp-02-2019-0097.
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