Misinformation Sharing and Social Media Fatigue during COVID-19: An Affordance and Cognitive Load Perspective, Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Social media plays a significant role during pandemics such as COVID-19, as it enables people to share news as well as personal experiences and viewpoints with one another in real-time, globally. Building off the affordance lens and cognitive load theory, we investigate how motivational factors and personal attributes influence social media fatigue and the sharing of unverified information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, we develop a model which we analyse using the structural equation modelling and neural network techniques with data collected from young adults in Bangladesh (N = 433). The results show that people, who are driven by self-promotion and entertainment, and those suffering from deficient self-regulation, are more likely to share unverified information. Exploration and religiosity correlated negatively with the sharing of unverified information. However, exploration also increased social media fatigue. Our findings indicate that the different use purposes of social media introduce problematic consequences, in particular, increased misinformation sharing.

Islam, A.K.M.N., Laato, S., Talukder S. & Sutinen E., (2020), Misinformation Sharing and Social Media Fatigue during COVID-19: An Affordance and Cognitive Load Perspective. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol. 159.