Systematic Literature Review on Driving Factors of COVID-19 Related Fake News Sharing on Social Media

Haixiao Kong, Mastura Mahamed, Zulhamri Abdullah, Wan Anita Wan Abas


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the news sharing behavior of social media users has exacerbated the proliferation of fake news, contributed to significant negative impacts on the public and society. This study aimed to explore the driving factors of COVID-19 related fake news sharing on social media and identify interventions to combat its dissemination. A systematic literature review under the guideline of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) was conducted using various databases, resulting in several key findings. Individual motivations such as information sharing, socialization, altruism, and self-promotion were identified as significant drivers of fake news sharing. Cognitive and emotional factors like trust in online information, perceived information overload, and social media exposure were also predictors of fake news sharing. Cultural and religious factors, as well as news content characteristics, were found to be correlated with COVID-19 fake news sharing. Facebook and WhatsApp emerged as the most commonly used platforms for sharing fake news. To address this issue, collaborative efforts are necessary involving individuals, social media platforms, technological institutions, governments, and public agencies. The study provides comprehensive insights into the driving factors behind COVID-19 related fake news sharing on social media and presents potential interventions to mitigate its spread. These findings can increase public awareness of the underlying reasons for fake news sharing and assist governments and public health institutions in devising strategies to handle fake news during future health crises.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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